A simple blood test reliably predicts the development of liver cancer – a medical practice

Benefits of a blood test to diagnose cancer

Many adults and children in Germany suffer from one non-alcoholic fatty liver. This disease can cause chronic inflammation and liver damage Increase the risk of liver cancer. A new simple blood test reliably predicts people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease are most likely to develop liver cancer.

In a new study involving experts from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Signatures of the so-called liver transcriptome and serum secretome have been defined and verified, which predict the long-term risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

The results were published in the English-language journal Science Translational Medicine.

Fatty liver diseases widespread in Germany

According to German Liver Foundation Steatosis hepatis is a common symptom, distinguishing between non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFL) and alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFL).

He usually leads one a combination of different factors to develop fatty liver. These factors include, for example, unhealthy diets, lack of exercise, obesity, alcohol consumption and diabetes.

Experts from the German Liver Foundation also state that about a third of adults in Germany have an enlarged liver due to fat storage, while the number of people affected is constantly growing. Fatty liver is widespread even among children, and every third overweight child already has fatten liver.

How are non-alcoholic fatty liver formed?

There is one with non-alcoholic fatty liver Excess fat in liver cellswhom chronic inflammation and liver damage researchers involved in a new study report.

In a new study, samples from 409 people analyzed with non-alcoholic fatty liver. So could the total number 133 genes can be determined that were expressed above or below average in people who developed hepatocellular carcinoma within 15 years.

Participants were divided into different groups based on the expression levels of these genes depending on their level of risk. For a period of 15 years after sampling, the 22.7 percent participants in a high-risk group hepatocellular carcinoma was diagnosed while none of the people in the low-risk group were, the team said.

High-risk individuals can be monitored by ultrasound

According to the researchers, the newly developed test could serve to quickly and reliably identify people who are affected by non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and who are highly likely to develop liver cancer.

This test allows us to non-invasively determine which patients are best monitored for liver cancer using regular ultrasound examinations“, Emphasizes the author of the study Dr. Yujin Hoshida of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in a press release.

17-fold increased risk of liver cancer from NAFL

The team also reports that studies have shown that people with non-alcoholic fatty liver have up to 17-fold increased risk of liver cancer have. People with NAFL who are at particularly high risk of cancer should have a screening program that includes a screening program every six months Leberultraschall done, experts advise.

The new test is particularly reliable in determining which people belong to a low-risk group. “We can now say with more certainty that these patients do not need to be monitored very closely“, He reports Dr. Hoshida.

The role of inflammation in liver cancer

For most genes and proteins, they turn out to be predictive of the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma proved, according to the team it was the so-called Immune and inflammatory molecules.

That points to The role of inflammation in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma out, explain to experts.

How can the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma be reduced?

Molecular levels could be altered in conjunction with therapies that are known to reduce hepatitis and the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma. Researchers cite examples of bariatric surgery, cholesterol treatment and immunotherapy.

This means that we could use these groups of molecules to monitor how well patients are doing over time or to inform them about the potential effectiveness of medical interventions in reducing the risk of liver cancer.“He explained.” Dr. Hoshida.

There is, for example, a blood protein test called PLSec-NAFLDwhich is already being used to monitor the effectiveness of a cholesterol drug in reducing the risk of liver cancer in an ongoing clinical trial, the researchers reported.

The team now plans to further explore the usefulness of PLSec-NAFLD in larger groups of people around the world. Scientists believe that this will also be possible in the future develop blood testswho Risk of cancer in other serious liver diseases such as hepatitis B and alcoholic liver disease may determine. (as)

Author and resource information

This text complies with the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been reviewed by healthcare professionals.

Sources:

  • Naoto Fujiwara, Naoto Kubota, Emilie Crouchet, Bhuvaneswari Koneru, Cesia A. Marquez et al .: Molecular signatures of the long-term risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; in: Science Translational Medicine (published 22.06.2022), Science Translational Medicine
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center: Molecular symptoms of long-term risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in non-alcoholic fatty fat (veröffentlicht 22.06.2022), UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • German Liver Foundation: Fatty hepatitis (steatohepatitis) – the most common liver disease in Germany (accessed June 23, 2022), German Liver Foundation

Important note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It can’t replace a doctor’s visit.

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