Research by scientists from Taiwan and the United States may help explain why liver cancer is more common in men with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection than in women with the infection and point the way to new treatments (Wu MH et al. Sci Transl Med. 2010;2:32ra35).
The researchers found that androgen receptors on liver cells bind to a DNA sequence on HBV, increase HBV viral levels, and help foster liver tumorogenesis. Using a mouse model, they also discovered that liver tumor size was substantially inhibited in mice treated with a chemical that degrades the androgen receptor.
Stephenson J. Men and Liver Cancer. JAMA. 2010;303(23):2346. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.797