August 23, 2010

Exposure to Estrogens may be Related to Gallbladder Cancer

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- A recent student at the University of Houston (UH) showed that gallbladder cancer might be associated to an elevated exposure of estrogens.

"For the first time, we show that the absence of liver X beta receptors, or LXRB, in a complex interplay with estrogens, induces gallbladder cancer exclusively in female mice," Jan-Ó¦ke Gustafsson, Robert A. Welch Professor in the University of Houston's biology and biochemistry department was quoted as saying.

The UH team's research using female mice found that chronic inflammatory gallbladder disease led to gallbladder lesions that further developed into cancer. The researchers were able to avert the development of tumors in these mice by removing the ovaries and reducing estrogen levels.

There are bountiful medical implications resulting from the team's findings. Utmost, drugs that affect the level of estrogens might be implemented in the treatment of gallbladder cancer.

Furthermore, families affected by hereditary gallbladder cancers might help researchers prevent mutations in the sequence of LXBR that may be responsible for this cancer.

"Going forward, we need to estimate the levels of LXRB and its activators in human gallbladder cancers, particularly in female patients. Once the presence and the function of LXRB in the human gallbladder are clear, we are going to test the potential effects of LXRB molecules on human gallbladder cancer cells," Gustafsson concluded.

SOURCE: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, August 2010