|[May 16, 2014]
NCKU Professor Discovers Drug to Inhibit Liver Cancer
TAINAN, Taiwan --(Business Wire)--
National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), Department of Microbiology and
Immunology, Distinguished Professor Dr. Hsiao-Sheng Liu and his research
team have discovered that the anti-arrhythmic drug Amiodarone can
inhibit tumorigenesis of liver cancer through autophagy.
Their findings have been published in the February issue of Hepatology,
This medical discovery has opened up a brand new chapter in explaining
the mechanism of Hepatitis B virus-related hepatocellular carcinogenesis
while providing an anti-liver cancer clinical drug with great potential.
Current drugs for treating liver cancer are expensive and ineffective
comparing to Amiodarone as an off-label use agent which is relatively
much cheaper with less toxicity, according to Dr. Liu.
Amiodarone is promising for treating liver cancerwhich undoubtedly is a
great news to liver cancer patients.
This new medical discovery was made by Dr. Liu's research team
consisting of Dr. Sheng-Huei Lan and Dr. Shan-Ying Wu alongside NCKU
Hospital Division of Gastroenterology Professor, Dr. Xi-Zhang Lin,
National Institute of Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology, Director Dr.
Ih-Jen Su and Industrial Technology Research Institute (News - Alert) Researchers, Dr.
Cheng-Tao Wu and Yen-Ju Lin.
According to Dr. Liu, both of autophagy and microRNA (miRNA) play
important roles in the formation of diverse cancers.
He said, in the cell autophagic activity can be induced by various
stresses including cancers to form a unique double-membrane vesicle,
known as autophagosome which possesses the ability to identify, degrade
and recycle unnecessary materials including invading pathogens, thus
maintaining homeostasis and providing the energy source for cell
On the other hand, miRNAs are small RNA molecules with 22 nucleotides in
length and its widely known function is to serve as an anti-sense RNA to
target messenger RNAs and down-regulate gene expression.
It is noteworthy to mention that Dr. Liu has invented a novel
experimental method by integrating autophagosome organelle separation
technology, miRNA hybridization and immunogold labeling of microRNA
technology, which proved that autophagosome can selectively recruit
While investigating liver cancer model in animals, Dr. Liu has also
revealed that Amiodarone is a promising off-label use drug capable of
effectively inhibiting liver tumor formation.
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