In China and throughout Southeast Asia liver cancer is the second most common fatal cancer as a result of the prevalence of hepatitis B viral infection. In Hong Kong it is the third deadliest cancer. About 10 per cent of the population in the region is infected with hepatitis B, through mother-to-baby transmission during birth, which can lead to cirrhosis, fibrosis and damage to liver cells, which in turn can cause liver cancer. As a result, scientists across the region are looking for potential cures for both diseases, with Professor Irene Ng and her team at The University of Hong Kong at the forefront of liver cancer therapy research with their work into liver cancer stem cells and cell signalling pathways, which underlie the cancer process. Professor Ng’s laboratory is investigating major oncogenic signalling pathways, and the co-operation and crosstalk of these pathways.
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