Liver Cancer Linked to Male Sex Hormones: HK Study

Article excerpt

HONG KONG (AFP) -- Hong Kong researchers have found that men are more likely to develop liver cancer due to a type of gene which is linked to male sex hormones.

Researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong said a study conducted since 2008 found more than 70 percent of patients with liver cancer produced high levels of a gene called cell cycle-related kinase (CCRK).

The study said the gene, one out of more than 17,000 in the human body, is directly controlled and activated by the receptor protein of the male sex hormone, or androgen.

"This study has a potential clinical impact as it depicts the correlation between androgen receptor and liver cancer development," university vice chancellor Joseph Sung and research team leader Mok Hing-yiu said.

"It also provides an explanation on why men have a higher risk of liver cancer than women," they added in a joint statement posted on the university's website.

Researchers examined risk factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption and occupation to explain the gender disparity but none could fully explain the difference. …