New study sheds light on treating liver cancer

Their findings published in Gut, a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology.

Professor Hyug Moo Kwon in the School of Life Sciences at UNIST.
Professor Hyug Moo Kwon in the School of Life Sciences at UNIST.

Liver malignancy opposes most chemotherapy drugs. Regardless of whether growth cells are totally expelled, the repeat rate in patients who underwent finish surgical resection comes to up to 70%. In spite of restorative progressions, treating liver disease is still especially difficult.

A recent study by the School of Life Sciences at UNIST, scientists finally found genetic evidence to combat liver cancer just seven years after coming to Ulsan. Scientists have found a quality, called Tonicity-responsive enhancer binding protein (TonEBP) advances the improvement and repeat of liver growth.

onEBP was first discovered in 1999 by Professor Kwon when he was working as Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. At that time, Professor Kwon, who won recognition through his research in physiology, identified that TonEBP contributes to the regulation of urine and induces inflammation to fight off infections, caused by virus or bacteria.
onEBP was first discovered in 1999 by Professor Kwon when he was working as Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. At that time, Professor Kwon, who won recognition through his research in physiology, identified that TonEBP contributes to the regulation of urine and induces inflammation to fight off infections, caused by virus or bacteria.

This breakthrough has been jointly conducted by Professor Hyug Moo Kwon in the School of Life Sciences at UNIST in collaboration with Professor Neung Hwa Park in the Department of Internal Medicine at Ulsan University Hospital.

Scientists involved 296 patients at Ulsan University Hospital, as well as via animal experiments. They analyzed some diverse aetiological agents and wide heterogeneity in individual tumors impede effective and personalized treatment.

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common and deadly form of liver cancer. On the other hand, TonEBP is a transcriptional cofactor for the expression of proinflammatory genes.

In spite of the fact that irritation is personally connected with the pathogenesis of HCC, the part of TonEBP is obscure. The point of this investigation is to give a top to bottom knowledge on the capacity of TonEBP in HCC.

Scientists discovered that TonEBP expression was higher in tumors than in neighboring non-tumor tissues in 92.6% of patients with HCC regardless of aetiology associated. Furthermore, tumors of disease and encompassing tissues were additionally observed to be related to repeat, metastasis, and mortality of liver malignancy.

Their findings published in Gut, a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology.

Specifically, it has been discovered that the rule of hepatocarcinogenesis is the same regardless of whether the reason for the malady is different, for example, B write infection, C compose infection, liquor, and greasy liver.

The study uncovered that the TonEBP is a key component of the common pathway in tumorigenesis and tumor progression of HCC in response to diverse aetiological insults. Now, scientists are investigating the role played by TonEBP in the recurrence of liver cancer, as well as chemotherapy resistance.

Jun Ho Lee in the Combined M.S./Ph.D. of Life Sciences at UNIST, the first author of this study has conducted an experiment, which took him nine months to come to fruitation. To find out the role TonEBP plays in liver cancer, he performed animal experiments. Mice were randomly divided into two groups and were gavaged with different amounts of TonEBP expression and caused liver cancer.

According to the results from 2014, the smaller number of TonEBP, the smaller the cancer number and the smaller the cancer cell size. This shows that TonEBP drives the development of liver cancer.

In collaboration with Ulsan University Hospital, the team found that TonEBP is involved at multiple steps of the common pathway of HCC development and tumor progression: cell injury, induction by oxidative stress and inflammation.

Besides, they also discovered that the expression of TonEBP is elevated in tumors in more than 90% of patients with HCC regardless of aetiology associated.

Professor Kwon said, “The 296 HCC samples that Professor Neung Hwa Park had surgically removed from patients were more than good enough. It is such a remarkable data, summarizing the cause of the disease, disease recurrence, metastasis, as well as mortality.” He adds, “The success of this research is largely due to the 30 years of research records, pertaining to cancer patients by Ulsan University Hospital.”

Their findings have been published in the prestigious BMJ Gut, a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology.