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Obesity and liver cancer

  • Researcher: Professor Manolis Pasparakis
  • Institution: University of Cologne, Germany
  • Award Amount: £199,446 over 3 years from January 2015
  • Cancer Type: Liver Cancer
Obesity and liver cancer
Liver cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer death worldwide, partly due to the lack of effective treatment options. Chronic liver damage and inflammation caused by viral infection, toxins or alcohol abuse is known to cause liver cancer. Obesity is also an important risk factor, but scientists still don’t fully know why. Professor Manolis Pasparakis and his team are interested in how obesity can lead to liver cancer. “Considering the obesity epidemic in western countries, obesity associated liver cancer is likely to become a major health hazard in the near future,” explains Professor Pasparakis. “We need a better understanding of the mechanisms controlling liver cancer, and especially the role obesity has in triggering these mechanisms.” During this project Professor Pasparakis will study one particular cell molecule, called RIPK1, which he believes could be a ‘missing link’ in the understanding of how obesity can lead to liver cancer. “We hope our studies will not only provide new insights into the mechanisms driving liver cancer, but will also be able to validate the potential importance of RIPK1 as a much needed therapeutic target,” says Professor Pasparakis.
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