New perspective for liver cancer

Raúl Méndez


    Raúl Méndez


    Institut de Recerca Biomèdica (IRB Barcelona), Spain


    Cases of liver cancer are on the rise, an increase that is related to diet and the obesity epidemic. Liver cancer is the second deadliest type of cancer. Current treatment options are very limited and in most cases patients do not respond to immunotherapy.

    In response to hypercaloric diets, liver cells undergo dramatic changes in their gene expression and may contribute to the development of liver tumors. These changes are, in part, mediated by RNA binding proteins that are permanently affected in conditions of obesity. This prolonged activation in time causes hepatocytes to generate around them an inflammatory environment that promotes the formation of tumors.

    The project aims to understand the deregulation of these RNA-binding proteins and how they affect liver inflammation and immune system response. This knowledge will be used in the search for new drugs that are able to reverse the effect of obesity on gene expression and thus find a new generation of drugs against liver cancer.


    Post-transcriptional gene regulation reprogramming in obesity-driven liver cancer