People with fatty liver disease are at a higher risk of developing liver cancer, reports a new study. The buildup of fat in the liver known as fatty liver disease sometimes leads to hard-to-treat liver cancer. Scientists don't understand why the cancer risk is higher for fatty liver disease caused by excessive alcohol consumption than for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. New research has uncovered important differences in the biological pathways that lead to cancer for alcoholic fatty liver disease compared to a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The findings could benefit the more than 3 million people diagnosed with the fatty liver disease each year. ‘Watch out: Fatty liver disease can put you at a higher risk of developing hard-to-treat liver cancer.’Read More.. "We want to find out the key factors and pathways that lead to liver cancer in fatty liver patients so we can slow or even prevent the liver cancer," said Yue Jia, MD, Ph.D., a pathology resident at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center who conducted the study. "It is estimated that this type of liver cancer is responsible for 250,000 to 1 million deaths each year." Jia will present the research at the American Society for Investigative Pathology annual meeting during the 2019 Experimental Biology meeting in Orlando, Fla. In the new study, the researchers examined expression levels of proteins in liver biopsies from a group of patients with alcoholic fatty liver disease and a group with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The proteins studied are involved in epigenetic regulation, which controls gene expression, and inflammation, which plays an important role in the disease. The research team observed that the two groups of patients showed significant differences in the expression of proteins involved in epigenetic regulators and inflammation. Importantly, these differences matched the ratio of liver cancer development seen for the two groups. "If, through additional studies, we can prove that the molecules and pathways we identified modulate liver cancer development in the alcoholic fatty liver disease or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients, it may help identify new targets for preventing or reducing the risk of liver cancer that arises from other liver disease," said Jia. The research team plans to perform additional experiments in animal models of fatty liver disease to learn more about how epigenetic regulation and inflammation pathways lead to liver cancer.Source: Eurekalert << Link Between Dietary Fiber and Lung Disease Identified Common Food Preservative May Influence How Well Flu Vaccines... >> Recommended Reading Alcoholic Liver Disease Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general information about Alcoholic Liver Disease. READ MORE Liver Cancer Liver or hepatic cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the liver. The leading cause of the disease is cirrhosis or scarring of the liver tissue. READ MORE Current Treatments for Liver Cancer Current Treatments for Liver Cancer (also known as hepatoma or hepatocellular carcinoma) can result in complete cure of the disease if it is detected early. READ MORE Blocking Platelets Help Prevent Fatty Liver Disease and Liver Cancer Blood platelets play key role in fatty liver disease development, said researchers. READ MORE Biliary Cirrhosis Biliary cirrhosis occurs due to obstruction to the flow of bile through bile ducts either within the liver or outside the liver. READ MORE Fatty Liver Disease: A Growing Health Problem in India Non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the leading cause of liver dysfunction worldwide and is a rapidly growing health problem in India. READ MORE Hepatitis A Hepatitis A is the most benign of the hepatitis viruses and usually has no long term side effects. Hepatitis A vaccine is available that is 95% effective in preventing the disease. READ MORE Living Donor Liver Transplant: What Are the Risks? The risk of dying as a result of a living donor liver segment removal is between 0.2-2.0%. The risk of morbidity is anywhere between 1.3% (in highly experienced centers) to 60%. READ MORE Milk Thistle Milk Thistle is a resourceful natural plant which has many medicinal benefits. In herbal medication milk thistle is used in cases of liver diseases. READ MORE Wilson's Disease This is a rare inherited systemic disorder of copper metabolism, affecting the liver mainly before other organs. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Drug - Food Interactions Find a Doctor Nutam (400mg) (Piracetam) More News on: Alcoholic Liver DiseaseLiver BiopsyHepatitis ALiverWilson's DiseaseBiliary CirrhosisMilk ThistleCurrent Treatments for Liver CancerFatty Liver Disease: A Growing Health Problem in IndiaLiving Donor Liver Transplant: What Are the Risks?