Liver cancer is life-threatening because it is generally diagnosed in the later stages. Now, scientists have identified a diagnostic biomarker of the disease and a potential way to reverse the damage done.
"Hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common form of liver cancer, remains the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide due to a lack of biomarkers for early detection and rapid fatality shortly after diagnosis," said Ying Fu from the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Washington, DC.
In new research, Fu and his team found that a damaged lesion on a DNA base (guanine) is correlated with the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in two mouse models.
"It has the potential to serve as a biomarker for early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma," the team noted.
Furthermore, polyphenon E, a formulation of green tea extract containing antioxidant catechins (plant metabolites) showed the most potent effect to suppress the lesion.
"More importantly, 86% of the mice on the polyphenon E diet appeared to have complete protection from tumor development," Fu claimed.
The study was presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's (AACR) annual meeting in Philadelphia this week.