Metformin Use with HCC Patients | PCOM Research Highlights
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Metformin Use with HCC Patients 
August Research Highlights at PCOM

August 31, 2022

Recently, Kumar Mukherjee, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice presented an abstract titled “Use of Metformin And Survival In Patients With Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) Undergoing Liver Directed Therapy: A Seer-Medicare Analysis,” which was published in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology.

This important pharmacy research focused on Metformin, an oral anti-diabetic drug that has started getting attention for some anti-tumor properties. For this research, the drug was studied in the context of breast cancer, and the results were mixed. Findings showed some evidence that Metformin has benefits for treating hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, commonly known as liver cancer) patients, but most of those studies are based on data from a single institution.

Metformin and cancer survival research

In this research, Dr. Mukherjee tested whether Metformin has any positive association with the survival of elderly patients (who are 65 years and older) in the United States, who have been diagnosed with HCC for the first time, have had no previous history of any cancer, and who are undergoing liver-directed treatment. Instead of using a single institution's data, Dr. Mukherjee used population-level data from across the United States in this study.

HCC is one of the deadliest cancers, with a survival rate of less than 20% five years after diagnosis. Recent data in the US demonstrated that the mortality rate increased over the years among elderly patients diagnosed with HCC. Dr. Mukherjee shared that a positive association between a widely-used drug like Metformin and the survival rate for elderly patients who are undergoing liver-directed therapy might be beneficial for this group of patients.

About Dr. Mukherjee and his research interests

As a faculty member in PCOM's School of Pharmacy and a health service researcher, Dr. Mukherjee's goal with this research is to explore population-level data in different disease states to find out the probable positive association between therapies and patients' survival and quality of life. He is also very passionate about exploring the relationship between the out-of-pocket cost of treatments and various socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of patients. He also shared that he believes his work contributes to identifying the disparity of care at the population level.

August 2022 Research Highlights at PCOM

Faculty, staff and students at our College's three locations frequently participate in innovative research studies in a variety of topics including the opioid crisis, COVID-19, medical cannabis, surgery, mental health and much more. The overall goal of PCOM research is to develop and test novel approaches to diagnosing, treating and preventing dysfunction and disease. View more PCOM research highlights for the month of August:

Alfonso Arevalo, DO '17, resident, orthopedic surgery, co-authored “Surgical Outcome of Low-Power-Density Blue Laser for Vascular Lesions of the Vocal Fold,” which was published in the Journal of Voice.

Trung Thanh Bui (DO '24) was first author of “Systematic Review of MIGS and Non-Penetrating Glaucoma Procedures for Uveitic Glaucoma,” which was published in the journal Seminars in Ophthalmology.

Denise Chen (DO '24) co-authored “Molecular Subclasses Of Clear Cell Ovarian Carcinoma And Their Impact On Disease Behavior And Outcomes,” which was published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

Griffin Clyatt (DO '23) was first author of “A Unique Case of Localized Palmar Erythema Annulare Centrifugum,” which was published in the journal Cureus.

Nicole Daher, MS, PA-C, and Jolene Bohenski, MS, PA-C, co-authored “Getting To The Heart Of The Opioid Crisis: Infective Endocarditis,” which was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants

Courtney Docherty, DO '17, resident, general surgery, co-authored “Use of Cold-Stored Whole Blood is Associated with Improved Mortality in Hemostatic Resuscitation of Major Bleeding: A Multicenter Study,” which was published in the journal Annals of Surgery.

Jeremy Heinle (DO '23) co-authored “Depression Increases Posterior Cervical Decompression and Fusion Revision Rates and Diminishes Neck Disability Index Improvement,” which was published in the journal Spine.

Yujin Kim, PharmD, PhD; Srujana Rayalam, DVM, PhD; and Xinyu (Eric) Wang, PhD, co-authored “Antiaging Mechanism of Natural Compounds: Effects on Autophagy and Oxidative Stress,” which was published in the journal Molecules.

Matthew Koury (DO '23) was first author of “A Case of Wernicke's Encephalopathy Due to Idiopathic Gastroparesis: A Rare Cause of Encephalopathy in a Young Woman,” which was published in the journal Cureus.

Dr. Mukherjee also co-authored “Length of Stay, Cost, and Outcomes Related to Traumatic Subdural Hematoma in Inpatient Setting in the United States,” which was published in the journal Value in Health.

Branten Page (DO '23) co-authored “Direct Percutaneous Intercostal Artery Access For Thoracic Type Ii Endoleak Embolization,” which was published in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology.

Pavan Patel (DO '23) and Smera Saikumar (DO '23) co-authored “Herpes Virus Pseudotumor in a Patient with HIV Immunosuppression,” which was published in the journal Case Reports in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Essie Samuel, PharmD; Hua Ling, PhD; and Drew Cates, PharmD, co-authored “Inclisiran: A First-in-Class siRNA Therapy for Lowering Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol,” which was published in the journal Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

Scott Serpico (DO '23) was first author of “Suicide Amongst Transplant Recipients: Trends And Unique Risk Factors,” which was published in the journal Clinical Transplantation.

Priyah Shah, DO, resident, internal medicine, co-authored “A Rare Case of Aspergillus Empyema Thoracis as a Complication of COVID-19 Pneumonia,” which was published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Brenda Tester (DO '23) was first author of “Emerging Applications of Contrast-enhanced Ultrasound in Trauma,” which was published in the journal Advanced Ultrasound in Diagnosis and Therapy.

Dianzheng Zhang, PhD, co-authored “Oxidized Low-Density Lipoprotein Links Hypercholesterolemia And Bladder Cancer Aggressiveness By Promoting Cancer Stemness,” which was published in the journal Cancer Research.

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