Research evokes hope for effective treatment
GUWAHATI: What exactly causes liver cancer? Indian scientist Dr Hifzur R Siddique, who hails from Assam, has discovered the protein-forming cancerous cells in the human body that cause the growth of tumour in the liver. In the human body, it happens either due to excess alcohol consumption or Hepatitis infection.
Dr Siddique who has conducted a research with Prof Keigo Machida of University of Southern California in Los Angeles and other collaborators, told The Sentinel on Saturday that the findings of their research evokes hope for the possible effective treatment of this lethal disease. He added that the research could serve as a potential therapeutic target for the drug design and give a direction to the management strategy for liver cancer.
The study of Dr Siddique and his other collaborators recently appeared in the prestigious journal, 'Nature Communications 11' (2020). The journal has editorial offices in London, Berlin, New York City, and Shanghai.
"The liver is considered as the powerhouse of our body. But the incidence of liver cancer is increasing day by day due to the change in lifestyle, chronic alcohol consumption, and Hepatitis-virus infection. It is, however, partially understood so far as to how the normal liver cells exactly become cancerous. Our findings are expected to help the scientific community to manage the havoc of liver cancer in the present time," Dr Siddique said.
"Our research has discovered the molecular mechanisms of a cancer-causing protein, TBC1D15. Cancer cells and Cancer Stem Cells accumulate TBC1D15, which aggravates the disease," he said.
Dr Hifzur originally hailing from a remote village in Karimganj district, has been working on these cells for a decade and established a dedicated lab to initiate pioneer research on Cancer Stem Cells at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). He elaborated through his paper that alcohol consumption and Hepatitis infection leads to liver cancer formation through stem cell factor and generation of Cancer Stem Cells.
"While my father Moyeen Uddin Siddique died of cancer, mother Asthorun Nessa Choudhury lost her life after battling with liver cancer. Deaths of my parents had become a challenge for me to do an intensive research on exact causes of liver cancer," Dr Siddique said.
He informed that liver cancer is largely traced in developing or under developed countries where 80-83% of patients are found.
Dr. Siddique who is also a faculty at the Zoology department in the AMU, has further elaborated among all these risk factors, alcohol consumption, Hepatitis Virus infection is a major health problem worldwide and considered important causative agent for liver cancer. Excess alcohol consumption causes different disease including cirrhosis and ultimately liver cancer, he said.
Dr. Siddique's earlier research projects had also earned accolades both at national and international platforms. He got Young Scientist Award-2010 from Society of Basic Urologic Research, USA, Farha Deba award from Indian Academy of Bio-Medical Sciences in 2017, Innovative Researcher of the Year in Bangkok form the Society of Pharmaceutical Education and Research in 2019 His publications were highlighted time to time by the US and Indian print and electronic media such as New York Times, Wall-Street Journal, The Street. In 2014, his work on therapy-resistant cancer was selected as one of the three "Featured Prostate Cancer Research" work by USA Department of Defense's "2014 Research Highlights" section.
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