Vienna: In a major discovery, Austrian scientists have found that the overproduction of a growth hormone can cause liver cancer.

The scientists at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Cancer Research have shown that overproduction of growth hormone, led by hormonal or metabolic disorders, greatly accelerated the development of tumour diseases and caused liver cancer, Xinhua reported.

The growth hormone, however, is very difficult to detect, they added.

Liver cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the world and the third most common cause of tumour-associated deaths. So far, viral infections such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and excessive alcohol consumption are considered the main culprits for causing liver cancer.

The scientists’ studies aimed to understand the mechanism of a signalling molecule, known as STAT 5, in the development of liver cancer due to the overproduction of growth hormone.

Through experiments on mice, the scientists were able to show that this signalling pathway protects the liver in a healthy condition and can regulate metabolic processes essentially.

The overproduction of the growth hormone can also lead to kidney diseases and organ failure, said the report.

Source: IANS