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: Cancer: Tumors absorb sugar for mobility

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

Cancer: Tumors absorb sugar for mobility

10 hours ago

Cancer cells are gluttons. We have long known that they monopolize large amounts of sugar. More recently, it became clear that some tumor cells are also characterized by a series of features such as mobility or unlikeliness ...

Early hormone therapy may be safe for women's hearts

19 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Healthy women at low risk of cardiovascular disease may be able to take hormone replacement therapy soon after menopause for a short time without harming their hearts, according to a new study.

User comments : 0