Singapore researchers unravel mystery behind liver cancer cause

SINGAPORE - Scientists from the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) have unraveled the mystery behind the cause of liver cancer in a research partnership with various research institutes across the world.

A report, published in the Nature Genetics journal on May 2, explained that high exposure to the hepatitis B virus (HBV) could cause HBV to integrate into an individual's genes.

The risk of liver cancer developing for an individual with high exposure to HBV is 100 times more than that of an individual without exposure to HBV.

This latest study managed to bypass limitations experienced in the past by leveraging on technology, which allowed for the survey of HBV integrations in tissues from 88 Chinese liver cancer sufferers.

The discovery means that medical researchers now have better understanding of HBV integration and liver cancer, and are better equipped to develop improved therapies for the disease.

Liver cancer is one of the most common solid tumours worldwide.

ljessica@sph.com.sg

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