Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Friday 26 April 2013: Regular exercise has been proven to reduce the chance of developing liver cancer in a world-first mice study that carries hope for patients at risk from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
The research announced at the International Liver Congress™ 2013 involved two groups of mice fed a control diet and a high fat diet then divided into separate exercise and sedentary groups. The exercise groups ran on a motorised treadmill for 60 minutes per day, five days a week.
After 32 weeks of regular exercise, 71% of mice on the controlled diet developed tumours larger than 10mm versus 100% in the sedentary group. The mean number and volume of HCC tumours per liver was also reduced in the exercise group compared to the sedentary group.
EASL's Educational Councillor Prof. Jean-Francois Dufour said the data showed the significant benefit of regular exercise on the development of HCC. Exercise decreased the level of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in mice receiving a high-fat diet. He said: "We know that modern, unhealthy lifestyles predispose people to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which may lead to liver cancer; however it's been previously unknown whether regular exercise reduces the risk of developing HCC. This research is significant because it opens the door for further studies to prove that regular exercise can reduce the chance of people developing HCC."
Prof. Jean-Francois Dufour added: "The results could eventually lead to some very tangible benefits for people staring down the barrel of liver cancer and I look forward to seeing human studies in this important area in the future. The prognosis for liver cancer patients is often bleak as only a proportion of patients are suitable for potentially curative treatments so any kind of positive news in this arena is warmly welcomed."
HCC is a cancer originating in liver cells and is one of the most common types of tumour. Worldwide, HCC accounts for approximately 5.4% of all cancers and causes 695,000 deaths per year, including 47,000 deaths in Europe per annum. It is the fifth most common cause of cancer in men and the eighth most common cause in women.
Disclaimer: the data referenced in this release is based on the submitted abstract. More recent data may be presented at the International Liver Congress™ 2013.
Notes to Editors
EASL is the leading European scientific society involved in promoting research and education in hepatology. EASL attracts the foremost hepatology experts and has an impressive track record in promoting research in liver disease, supporting wider education and promoting changes in European liver policy.
EASL's main focus on education and research is delivered through numerous events and initiatives, including:
- The International Liver CongressTM which is the main scientific and professional event in
- Meetings including Monothematic and Special conferences, Post Graduate courses and other
endorsed meetings that take place throughout the year
- Clinical and Basic Schools of Hepatology, a series of events covering different aspects in the field
- Journal of Hepatology published monthly
- Participation in a number of policy initiatives at European level
About The International Liver Congress™ 2013
The International Liver Congress™ 2013, the 48th annual meeting of the European Association for the study of the Liver, is being held at the RAI Convention Centre in Amsterdam from April 24 - 28, 2013. The congress annually attracts in excess of 9000 clinicians and scientists from around the world and provides an opportunity to hear the latest research, perspectives and treatments of liver disease from principal experts in the field.
1 A.C Piguet, EFFECT OF REGULAR TRAINING ON HEPATOCELLULAR CARCINOMA DEVELOPMENT IN HEPATOCYTE-SPECIFIC PTEN-DEFICIENT MICE. Abstract presented at the International Liver CongressTM 2013
2 Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Wikipedia. Available at http://en.
3 Kumar Vinay, Nelso Fausto and Abul Abbas. Robbins & Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease, 7th ed. Saunders; 2004.
4 Cancer fact sheet. World Health Organisation. February 2006.
5 EU Burden of Liver Disease: A review of available epidemiological data. European Association for the Study of the Liver Disease. 2013. http://www.