Research workers have found that a hormone — present at higher levels in women — is able to keep all of them away from liver cancer, recommending the disease is much more common in men.
The research revealed that a potential contributor to this gender disparity is adiponectin, a hormone secreted by fat cells that can help manage the body’s metabolism.
The hormone activates two proteins inside liver cells, known as p38 and AMPK, that block cell proliferation and impair tumour growth, claimed the study, published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.
“Circulating adiponectin levels have been considered to be higher in women than in men,” claimed Guadalupe Sabio at the Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) in Spain.
Just like humans, male mice are more also prone to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) -the most common form of liver cancer -than females, as the increased levels of adiponectin in female mice protect them from HCC, the study claimed.
Inhibiting testosterone production in male rodents increased their adiponectin levels and decreased tumour growth.
Essentially, the research recommended that adiponectin and metformin -a common antidiabetic drug-could be utilized as novel treatments for liver cancer.
Sabio declared that adiponectin’s role in HCC is debatable and then required more investigation.
Liver cancer is the fourth major cause of cancer-related deaths around the world.