Research / Research Highlights

Research Highlights

Research Highlights /

Research Highlights

Professor Jung Discovers Cause for Liver Cancer Spread

Aug 19, 2008

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) facilitates the metastasis of liver cancer cells

Professor Guhung Jung has discovered why liver cancer cells spread through the body, opening new possibilities for treatment of the deadly disease.

Jung said that his research team at Department of Biological Sciences have been able to determine that reactive oxygen species (ROS) facilitates the metastasis of liver cancer cells.

He said that ROS has been found to trigger growth of the so-called snail protein while at the same time bringing about DNA methylation. Both of these processes negatively affect the manifestation of E-cadherin that is a natural suppressant for cancerous tumor growth.

The team from the university's laboratory of molecular genetics also said that by controlling growth of E-cadherin, ROSs permit cancer cells to leave the liver and spread to other parts of the body making treatment difficult.

Liver cancer is the third leading cause of deaths among patients in South Korea, and the second highest among males in their 40-50s.

Because cancerous cells tend to spread, survival rates among patients is low with less than 10 percent living more than five years after being diagnosed with the disease.

August 18, 2008