Shanghai scientists have detected a molecular "target spot" that can lead to the prevention and diagnosis of early stage liver cancer, one of the most common and lethal malignancies.
The finding published in the journal Nature Cell Biology over the weekend is a breakthrough on how a gene network can sabotage normal liver cells.
The discovery can effectively help detect liver cancers at the initiation stage, most of which are neglected in routine examinations among patients such as those with hepatitis B.
More importantly, cancer development can be impaired by changing the gene network, said Hui Lijian, a researcher with the Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology under the Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences and one of the leaders on the research.
"It will normally take about 10 years for liver tumor development and early diagnosis helps to increase the cure rate," Hui said.