London: The commonest type of liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), is a leading cause of deaths related to the disease worldwide. Researchers have now used fish to collect new information that might help diagnose and treat it.
Previous work indicated that cancer cells from patients with HCC always have abnormally high activation of a cellular pathway called Ras. However, whether and how the Ras pathway actually causes liver cancer was not clear. To focus in on this issue, Gong and Parinov created genetically engineered zebrafish to express a cancer-causing form of Ras (krasV12) in the liver. Fish having the highest expression of krasV12 died rapidly of malignant liver cancer (mostly within 30 days), whereas fish with lower krasV12 expression survived longer and did not develop full-blown disease. IANS
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