Metabolic syndrome may increase risk for liver cancer

Apr 03, 2011

Scientists have confirmed that metabolic syndrome, a constellation of conditions that increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes, may also increase the risk of the two most common types of liver cancer, according to data presented at the AACR 102nd Annual Meeting 2011, held here April 2-6.

Katherine McGlynn, Ph.D., a senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute, said approximately one-third of the U.S. population has , which is defined as the co-occurrence of at least three of the following five conditions: raised blood pressure, elevated , low HDL or "good" cholesterol, raised triglyceride levels and raised fasting plasma glucose levels.

According to McGlynn, persons with these conditions may be at increased risk of developing hepatocellular and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.

Liver cancer incidence has been rising since the 1980s in the United States. The factors related to the increase are not well understood. "A lot of attention has focused on viral risk factors, but a significant part of the increase may be due to metabolic syndrome, as well as to diabetes and obesity," said McGlynn.

"The prognosis for liver cancer is only marginally better than the prognosis for pancreatic cancer, with a five-year survival of approximately 10 percent," she said. "Prognosis is more favorable, however, when liver cancers are diagnosed at early stages when they are small and localized to the liver."

For the current study, researchers identified 3,649 cases of hepatocellular carcinoma and 743 cases of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. They compared the medical history of these patients with the medical histories of 195,953 cancer-free adults.

Statistical analyses showed that the persons with liver cancer were significantly more likely than cancer-free persons to have a prior history of metabolic syndrome: 37.1 percent of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma had pre-existing metabolic syndrome, as did 29.7 percent of patients with intraheptic carcinoma; only 17.1 percent of the cancer-free adults had metabolic syndrome.

Explore further: 20 years of data shows treatment technique improvement for advanced abdominal cancer

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Metabolic syndrome ups colorectal cancer risk

Oct 06, 2008

In a large U.S. population-based study presented at the 73rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology, metabolic syndrome patients had a 75 percent higher risk of colorectal cancer compared to ...

Metabolic factors may play a role in risk for breast cancer

Jun 30, 2009

Physiological changes associated with the metabolic syndrome may play a role in the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, according to study results published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the ...

Personalized treatment may help some liver cancer patients

Oct 22, 2010

A more personalized treatment for people with a type of metastatic liver cancer --hepatocellular carcinoma -- may be possible by targeting the protein c-Met, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. Hepatocellular ...

Recommended for you

Unraveling the 'black ribbon' around lung cancer

10 hours ago

It's not uncommon these days to find a colored ribbon representing a disease. A pink ribbon is well known to signify breast cancer. But what color ribbon does one think of with lung cancer?

User comments : 0

More news stories

Turning off depression in the brain

Scientists have traced vulnerability to depression-like behaviors in mice to out-of-balance electrical activity inside neurons of the brain's reward circuit and experimentally reversed it – but there's ...

Researchers discover target for treating dengue fever

Two recent papers by a University of Colorado School of Medicine researcher and colleagues may help scientists develop treatments or vaccines for Dengue fever, West Nile virus, Yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and other ...

Our brains are hardwired for language

A groundbreaking study published in PLOS ONE by Prof. Iris Berent of Northeastern University and researchers at Harvard Medical School shows the brains of individual speakers are sensitive to language univer ...

Study recalculates costs of combination vaccines

One of the most popular vaccine brands for children may not be the most cost-effective choice. And doctors may be overlooking some cost factors when choosing vaccines, driving the market toward what is actually a more expensive ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...