Clinical Studies of Epidemiology, Risk Factors and Prognosis in Hepatobiliary Cancer

Dr. Roberts leads numerous clinical studies on hepatobiliary cancers, including research on epidemiology, risk factors and prognosis.

Our current and recent studies include:

Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C as Risk Factors for Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Somali Immigrants; Role of Viral Genetics and the Immune Response

Our lab is performing translational research studies that examine etiologic factors and disparities in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma induced by hepatitis B and hepatitis C in the immigrant Somali community in Minnesota.

The Role of the Biliary and Gut Microbiome in the Progression of Cholangiocarcinoma and Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis

This project aims to understand the roles of the biliary and intestinal microflora in the inflammatory process of primary sclerosing cholangitis and its progression to cholangiocarcinoma.

Dr. Roberts and his research team anticipate that these studies will provide a better understanding of the role of the intestinal and bile duct microflora in the inflammatory process of primary sclerosing cholangitis, its progression to cholangiocarcinoma and the development of stent occlusion.

Funding source: ACG 2016 Clinical Research Award

Immunomodulation and Survival Outcome Following Locoregional Ablation of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

This study is evaluating changes in blood immune profiles after locoregional ablation.

The Hepatobiliary Cancer Lab is performing flow cytometric analysis of peripheral blood before ablation, immediately after ablation and three months after ablation.

Outcome and Its Predicting Factor for Trans-Arterial Radioembolization in Patients With Hepatocellular Carcinoma

The lab is studying ways to identify factors that influence survival and outcomes in patients receiving trans-arterial radioembolization as a primary treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma.

Body Wall Composition, Sarcopenia and Fat Wall Percentage, and Clinical Outcome After Primary Treatment in Patients With Liver Cancer

This research project focuses on determining the prognostic ability of body wall composition on survival and outcome of patients with liver cancer and bile duct cancer. Primary treatments of interest include liver transplant, resection and chemotherapy.

Effect of Statins on the Risk of Developing Cholangiocarcinoma

In this project, Dr. Roberts and his team are studying the effect of statins as a protective factor against cholangiocarcinoma in patients with hyperlipidemia and the effect of statins on the survival of patients with hyperlipidemic cholangiocarcinoma.

Efficacy of New Ultrasound Super Resolution Imaging of Microvasculature for Staging of Liver Fibrosis and Detection of Hepatocellular Carcinomas

This study is testing and optimizing a new ultrasound-based imaging tool for visualization and quantification of morphological features of hepatic microvasculature that can improve the staging of liver fibrosis.

This method is completely noninvasive and will be useful in the detection of cases of hepatocellular carcinoma that are typically difficult to detect.

The principal investigator for this research project is Azra Alizad, M.D.

Clinical Application of MR Elastography in the Evaluation of Liver Diseases

Magnetic resonance (MR) elastography is a newer technique that provides information about biomechanical properties of tissues noninvasively.

The research team in the Hepatobiliary Cancer Lab is conducting a retrospective study to assess the results in the evaluation of liver disease by MR elastography for the detection of liver fibrosis.

The principal investigator for this research project is Sudhakar K. Venkatesh, M.D.