DHAKA: The Hepatitis B virus is endemic in Singapore and other parts of Asia, and causes liver inflammation, scarring - also known as cirrhosis - and liver cancer.
Now, scientists here have worked out one of the ways it can cause cancer - by infiltrating a patient’s genes to promote the growth of tumours, reports The Straits Times.
Researchers from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s Genome Institute of Singapore and National University of Singapore worked with counterparts from Hong Kong and Beijing, as well as United States pharmaceutical giants like Merck, Pfizer and Eli Lilly.
Their discovery was published in the prestigious science journal, Nature Genetics.
The researchers used data from 88 Chinese patients who had surgery or liver transplants, and found that the virus works its way into specific genes to change their function and make them overactive.
They found this more frequently in the tumour tissue than in normal liver tissue nearby.
BDST: 1801 HRS, MAY 28, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor
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