Doaa A. Abdelmonsif has completed her MD in Medical Biochemistry since 2011 from Alexandria Faculty of Medicine, Egypt. She is a co-director of the molecular biology laboratory of the Center Of Excellence for Research In Regenerative Medicine and It is Applications, Alexandria Faculty of Medicine, Egypt. She has several publications in the field of molecular medicine and targeted drug delivery for treatment of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. She serves as a reviewer for several reputed journals.


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is an expanding health problem with a great impact on morbidity and mortality both in Egypt and worldwide. Recently, metformin and aspirin showed a potential anticancer effect on HCC although their mechanism(s) isn't fully elucidated. To investigate the anti-proliferative effects of combined metformin/ aspirin treatment against HCC, HepG2 cells were exposed to increasing concentrations of metformin, aspirin and combined treatment, and MTT assay was performed. Caspase-3 activity, cell cycle analysis, protein expression of phosphorylated AMP-activated protein kinase (pAMPK) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) proteins were assessed. Furthermore, the expression and localization of β-catenin protein was assessed by immunocytochemistry (ICC). Finally, protein expression of pAMPK, mTOR and β-catenin was assayed in Egyptian HCC and cirrhotic tissue specimens. Results showed that metformin/aspirin combined treatment had a synergistic effect on cell cycle arrest and apoptosis induction via down-regulation of AMPK activation and mTOR protein expression. Additionally, metformin/aspirin combined treatment enhanced cell-cell membrane localization of β-catenin expression in HepG2 cells, which might inhibit metastatic potential of HepG2 cells. In Egyptian HCC specimens, pAMPK, mTOR and β-catenin proteins showed a significant expression compared to cirrhotic controls. In conclusion, combined metformin/aspirin treatment could be a promising therapeutic strategy for HCC and specifically Egyptian HCC patients.