Can Adiponectin Inhibit Obesity-Related Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)

Researchers at the Emory University School of Medicine have found that the signaling molecule (hormone) adiponectin can be a promising therapy for Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). It is a rare but serious type of liver cancer in the United States.

Compared to the risks associated with cancer of the prostate, colon, kidney and stomach, obese people are more at risk of developing this debilitating ailment of the liver. The result of the finding was published in the November 2010 issue of the journal of Hepatology.

How Adiponectin Hormone Inhibits Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)?

  • This hormone helps in the breakdown of fatty acids and regulation of glucose levels in the body.
  • Obese people have lower levels of adiponectin; a protein hormone that inhibits the hormone leptin, which is shown to play a role in liver cancer.
  • The study found that Leptin is directly associated with the growth of HCC tumors
  • Adiponectin treated this cancer by inhibiting its growth, invasion and spreading.
  • The size of the HCC tumor was found to shrink when the experiment was extended on HCC tumor samples of humans.

Significance of the Research on Adiponectin Hormone Inhibition of Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC):

Obese people are at risk of developing many types of cancer. According to the estimates of the World Health Organization, more than 700 million adults will be obese by 2015. Nearly 72.5 million adults in the United States have a BMI above 30 as noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With the high prevalence of obesity in the U.S., this study could significantly improve survival rates of obese liver cancer patients by using adiponectin to inhibit growth, invasion, and migration of HCC cells.



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