Researchers in Hong Kong have found a gene that can attack cancer cells, giving hope a cure can be found for liver cancer, a media report said on Monday.
A team from Hong Kong University says the DLC-2 “tumour supressing” gene is present in healthy people but not in patients suffering from liver cancer.
“We strongly believe that patients develop liver cancer when the gene disappears from their bodies,” Irene Ng Oi-lin was quoted as saying in the South China Morning Post.
She said drugs could be developed from this to replace the present forms of treatment, which include chemotherapy and liver transplants.
“If medicine can be developed to target these genes, the cancer cells will not be able to duplicate and will die massively, which can improve patients’ chances of survival,” Ng was reported as saying.
Revision date: June 11, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD