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More than a cause of a simple infection, viruses are often involved in the development of serious diseases. Researchers at Inserm, the Paris Public Hospitals (AP-HP), Paris Descartes University, Paris 13 University (USPC), and Paris Diderot University have just identified the role of a new virus, hitherto unsuspected, in the occurrence of a rare type of liver cancer. This study, based on follow-up and observation of 193 patients, is published in the 24 August issue of Nature Genetics. With over 8,000 new individuals diagnosed annually, liver cancer mainly affects men, and is a major cause of death worldwide.
Jessica Zucman-Rossi and her staff at Inserm Unit 1162, "Functional Genomics of Solid Tumors," focused on these patients to determine the risk factors that had contributed to the development of their cancer. In the genome of tumour cells of 11 patients, the scientists observed the insertion of a viral DNA segment from adeno-associated virus type 2, known as AAV2. By studying these malignant cells in greater detail, they discovered that the virus, when inserting its DNA into the genome of the patient's cells, targets genes that are important in cell proliferation.
By this work, the researchers have identified the involvement of AAV2 virus, previously thought to be harmless, in the occurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma, particularly in the rare cases of cancer that develop in the absence of cirrhosis and without an identified cause. Cancer of the liver looms as Australia’s greatest cancer challenge, with new analysis revealing that liver cancer has the highest ‘death-to-incidence ratio’ – indicating shorter average survival – of any cancer in Australia. The latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data analysed by Hepatitis Australia reveals that the number of new cases of liver cancer each year (1,446) is matched by the number of lives lost to the disease (1,419) annually.1 This means that for every Australian diagnosed with liver cancer, another Australian loses their life. In stark contrast with nearly all other cancers where survival rates have steadily improved over the last two decades, there has been no improvement in liver cancer prognosis. On World Cancer Day, Hepatitis Australia’s Acting CEO Kevin Marriott said that untreated viral hepatitis is the leading cause of primary liver cancer in Australia, while liver cancer is now the fastest increasing cause of cancer death in Australia.
Without a major increase in the treatment of the blood-borne virus, experts predict a 245 per cent increase in liver cancer from hepatitis C alone by 2030. Hepatitis Australia warned that the liver cancer death rate would be even higher by 2030 when hepatitis B was taken into account. Associate Professor Ben Cowie from Royal Melbourne Hospital said, “Healthcare professionals need to be on the lookout for Australians who are living with undiagnosed hepatitis B or C and ensure that all Australians living with viral hepatitis receive regular liver check-ups and timely treatment. Cancer Council NSW’s Medical Director, Associate Professor Monica Robotin said “We strongly back efforts to prevent and treat viral hepatitis as a cancer prevention strategy. Please note - by subscribing to this newsletter you are confirming that you are a healthcare professional working within oncology or an aligned specialty.
Liver tumours may be divided up into those arising in the liver (primary tumours), or those which have spread to the liver from elsewhere (secondary tumours or metastases). There has been a great deal of experience in the treatment of primary liver tumours in Far East. The treatment of secondary tumours has been shown to be feasible based on the work performed in Far East. Treatment may be either with curative intent (as primary treatment or after other forms of therapy) or with palliative intent (to debulk tumours or reduce pain of malignant origin).

Fig.3 Gadolinium-enhanced MRI scans of a 62-year-old patient with HCC who received a single session of both TACE and HIFU. Fig.4 Gadolinium-enhanced MRI of a patient who underwent a single HIFU session, at which two foci of HCC were targeted, one close to the diaphragm, another close to the interior vena cava. David BowieFinally, there's some substance to the rumours doing the rounds over the last few months that Bowie's 25th album is imminent. David Bowie may recently have confirmed his retirement from the rigours of touring, but that isn’t stopping him from unleashing more music on the world.A new report indicates that a new Bowie album, entitled Blackstar, is set for release in the new year. Go Back in Time using our Photos archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past. Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past. Among the different types of liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma usually occurs in a liver that has already been damaged by illness. However, in 5 percent of cases, liver cancer occurs in patients who had not reported cirrhosis, and the reason for developing the cancer remains to be identified. Jessica Zucman-Rossi and her colleagues have shown that AAV2 leads to excessive expression of these genes which, according to the researchers, may favour tumour development. Although the insertion of its DNA into tumour promoting genes is rare, and probably a chance event, precautions must be taken regarding the use of this virus," explain the authors.
Ratios closer to 0 indicate longer average survival while ratios closer to 1 indicate shorter average survival. Currently, only 1 per cent of the 233,000 Australians living with hepatitis C are treated each year. More than 225,000 Australians are living with hepatitis B, but only half are diagnosed and only five per cent are treated. Research has suggested that, for tumours which are not amenable to surgery, treatment with HIFU and embolisation (blocking the blood vessels which feed the tumour) may improve survival when compared to current therapies.
Surgery And Liver Transplantation May Be Curative For Early Stage HCC, But They Can Only Be Performed In 20% Of Patients. Enhanced-CT scans obtained in a 56-year-old patient after a single HIFU treatment for advanced stage HCC.
Gadolinium-enhanced MRI obtained in a patient with metastatic liver cancer before and after HIFU treatment. The new record will reportedly be released on January 8th 2016 – Bowie’s 69th birthday – according to a new feature in The Times on Saturday (October 24th). The liver may, for example, have been weakened by excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, or chronic viral infection by hepatitis B or C viruses, which causes irreversible liver lesions leading to cirrhosis.
In order to confirm the virus's involvement in the cancer, the research team compared tumour tissues with normal tissues. This is appalling when we know that the prevention and treatment of viral hepatitis could prevent liver cancer and save many lives.

The Prognosis For Patients With Untreated HCC Is Very Poor, With A Range Of Overall Median Survival From 1.6 To 6 Months.
A) Before HIFU, the patient underwent three sessions of TACE that failed to control tumour growth. A) Before HIFU, two large tumour foci are present, located in the left and right lobe of the liver (arrow). They thus confirmed their hypothesis: the integration of viral DNA was found more often in tumour cells than in healthy cells in these 11 patients. High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) Is A Novel, Non-Invasive Therapy Which Has Been Used To Treat Patients With HCC In India Since 1998.
The tumour shows good contrast uptake, indicating perfusion (arrow); B) Four weeks after TACE. B) Two weeks after HIFU, absence of contrast uptake, indicating coagulation necrosis in both foci (arrow). Apparently containing seven tracks over a running length of 45 minutes, the new album was recorded in New York with a group of jazz musicians. Moreover, 8 of these patients did not have cirrhosis, and 6 of them presented no known risk factors for liver cancer.
It Can Be Performed Not Only In Surgical Candidates Whose Lesions Are Less Than 5cm In Diameter, But Also In Patients With Large-Volume, Unresectable HCC. It had invaded the right branch of portal vein (yellow arrow), and the interior vena cava (IVC) was compressed (yellow arrow). More: David Bowie’s agent confirms that the legend has retired from touringThe title track, which currently serves as the theme tune to the new Sky Atlantic crime drama ‘The Last Panthers’, will serve as the album’s lead single, out on November 19th. In This Latter Group, HIFU Can Be Used Alone Or In Combination With Transcatheter Arterial Embolisation (TAE), Either As A Primary Therapy, Or After Standard Treatments Have Failed. The report says it features “Gregorian chants, a soul section, various electronic beat and bleeps, and Bowie’s distinctive vocals. Studies Have Shown That This Has A Positive Survival Advantage Compared To Trans-Arterial Chemo-Embolisation (TACE) Alone.
The legendary musician surprised the world back then with the sudden announcement and quick release of his first new material in just under a decade, and it garned some of the very best reviews of Bowie’s career.Despite overwhelming demand for all things Bowie, the singer announced that he won’t be touring any new music again. There was blood flow in the distal part of the portal vein (blue arrow) indicating resolution of the portal vein.

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