Tuesday July 17, 2018

Alcohol-related liver cancer may have worse prognosis

Patients with alcohol-related liver cancer do not live as long as patients with liver cancer that is not associated with alcohol consumption, a new study suggests

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Cancer can be caused by excessive intake of sugar and carbohydrates too. Pixabay
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  • Patients with alcohol-related cancer cannot live long
  • They live shorter than people with non-alcoholic liver cancer
  • Efforts should be made during screening  and treatment to reduce the harm

Patients with alcohol-related liver cancer do not live as long as patients with liver cancer that is not associated with alcohol consumption, a new study suggests.

The findings suggest that patients with alcohol-related liver cancer have a reduced overall survival time mainly due to worse liver function and tumour characteristics at diagnosis. Liver cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, with hepatitis B and C infections being the main causes.

Alcohol-related cancer patients survive less.

“To improve prognosis of liver cancer in the alcoholic population, efforts should be made to implement effective screening programmes for both cirrhosis and liver cancer, and to improve access to alcoholism treatment services,” said co-author Charlotte Costentin from the Hôpital Henri-Mondor in France.

To compare aspects of alcohol-related and non-alcohol-related liver cancer for the study, published in the journal Cancer, researchers examined 894 patients with newly diagnosed liver cancer who were followed for five years. As many as 582 patients had a history of chronic alcohol abuse and 312 did not. They also recorded whether patients with alcohol-related liver cancer were abstinent or not at the time of cancer diagnosis.

Also Read: Limit Alcohol Intake to cut Risk of Cancer, Say Experts

A total of 601 patients had died by the time of the investigator’s final analyses. Alcohol-related liver cancers were more likely to be diffuse and were detected in patients with worse liver function. Median overall survival was 9.7 versus 5.7 months in the non-alcohol-related and alcohol-related groups respectively.

When researchers looked at each stage of cancer individually, however, survival was similar in patients with non-alcohol related and alcohol related cancer. The findings indicate that efforts should be made to improve both screening for early signs of liver cancer and the management of alcohol abuse, the researcher said. IANS

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Diet can Prevent Cancer From Spreading

While dietary consumption of omega-3 fatty acids can lead to EDP-EAs, for those with cancer, something concentrated and fast acting is needed

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The results showed that the endocannabinoids slowed the growth of tumours and blood vessels, inhibited the cancer cells from migrating and caused cancer cell death.
The results showed that the endocannabinoids slowed the growth of tumours and blood vessels, inhibited the cancer cells from migrating and caused cancer cell death. (IANS)

While eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish, certain nuts and seeds, have been known to prevent heart diseases and arthritis, a new research, led by one of Indian-origin, showed that omega-3 fatty byproducts may also have anti-cancer effects.

The new study, led by Aditi Das from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, US, showed that when the human body metabolises omega-3 fatty acids, it produces a class of molecules called endocannabinoid epoxides, or EDP-EAs. These have anti-inflammatory properties and can inhibit cancer’s growth and spread.

The EDP-EAs have similar properties to cannabinoids found in marijuana — but without the psychotropic effects — and they target the same receptor in the body that cannabis does.

“We have a built-in endocannabinoid system which is anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing. Now we see it is also anti-cancer, stopping the cells from proliferating or migrating,” said study leader Aditi Das from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The higher concentrations of EDP-EAs did kill cancer cells, but not as effectively as other chemotherapeutic drugs on the market.
The higher concentrations of EDP-EAs did kill cancer cells, but not as effectively as other chemotherapeutic drugs on the market. Pixabay

“These molecules could address multiple problems: cancer, inflammation and pain,” Das added.

For the study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, the team studied the effect of the molecule in mice with tumours of osteosarcoma — a bone cancer that is not only painful but also difficult to treat.

The results showed that the endocannabinoids slowed the growth of tumours and blood vessels, inhibited the cancer cells from migrating and caused cancer cell death.

The higher concentrations of EDP-EAs did kill cancer cells, but not as effectively as other chemotherapeutic drugs on the market. But, the compounds slowed tumour growth by inhibiting new blood vessels from forming to supply the tumour with nutrients. They also prevented interactions between the cells, and most significantly, they appeared to stop cancerous cells from migrating.

Also Read: Cancer-Causing Chemical Found In Odisha Fish Sample

While dietary consumption of omega-3 fatty acids can lead to EDP-EAs, for those with cancer, something concentrated and fast acting is needed, Das said.

“That’s where the endocannabinoid epoxide derivatives come into play – you could make a concentrated dose of the exact compound that’s most effective against the cancer. You could also mix this with other drugs such as chemotherapies,” she added. (IANS)