Thursday, October 17, 2013

Men-only hepatitis B mutation explains higher cancer rates

A team of researchers has identified a novel mutation in the hepatitis B virus (HBV) in Korea that appears only in men and could help explain why HBV-infected men are roughly five times more likely than HBV-infected women to develop liver cancer. Although some women do progress to cirrhosis and liver cancer, the mutation is absent in HBV in women. The research is published ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

"This is the first mutation found that can explain the gender disparity in incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma," says Bum-Joon Kim of Seoul National University, Korea, an author on the study.

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