An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled in Switzerland. Hepatocellular carcinoma is usually diagnosed at a very late stage when the liver is already severely damaged and hence overall prognosis is poor. Detection of the anti-cancer protein LHPP as a biomarker may allow clinicians to provide better treatment options.