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Hepatitis C linked to half of U.S. liver cancer cases

Hepatitis C linked to half of U.S. liver cancer cases

Researchers from the Liver Cancer Network report that the hepatitis C virus is involved in more than half of U.S. cases of liver cancer, Reuters Health reports. Liver cancer is increasing faster than any other type of cancer, according to a report presented by the researchers Monday in Boston at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. A study of 250 liver cancer patients showed that 52% were infected with HCV. Overall, 87% of liver cancer patients had some sort of underlying liver disease. St. Louis University researcher Alex S. Befeler, who presented the study data, said chemotherapy is typically ineffective for liver cancer, since liver damage makes drug metabolism poor. "Liver transplantation is the best approach," he said.

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