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Everolimus (Zortress) Approved to Prevent Liver Transplant Rejection

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this month approved the immunosuppressant drug everolimus (brand name Zortress) for preventing organ rejection in people who undergo liver transplantation. A recent large study found that everolimus was easier on the kidneys when used in combination with low-dose tacrolimus (Prograf).

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Heavy Alcohol Use Increases Liver Cancer Risk for People with Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B patients with liver cirrhosis who consumed large amounts of alcohol were more likely to develop hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) than people who drank less, according to a report in the December 6, 2012, online edition of the Journal of Hepatology. However, antiviral treatment can help prevent liver cancer.

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AASLD 2012: Brivanib Fails to Match Sorafenib for Liver Cancer, but Tivatinib Looks Promising

The investigational cancer drug brivanib did not significantly increase overall survival for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma compared with existing standard therapy, researchers reported at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD 2012) this month in Boston. But another drug, tivatinib, did appear beneficial for a subset of patients. alt

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Liver Disease Is Leading Cause of Death for People with Chronic Hepatitis B

Advanced liver disease caused by hepatitis B virus (HBV) -- including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and decompensated cirrhosis -- accounted for more than 40% of deaths of people with chronic hepatitis B in a large health maintenance organization, researchers reported in the December 12, 2012, advance online edition of Hepatology.

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AASLD 2012: When Are HCV Direct-Acting Antivirals Needed, Who Should Be Prioritized?

When resources for hepatitis C treatment with new direct-acting antivirals are limited, findings from the U.S. suggest that previously untreated people with low HCV viral loads may stand a good chance of achieving sustained virological response without adding telaprevir or boceprevir to pegylated interferon and ribavirin, researchers reported at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases Liver Meeting (AASLD 2012) this month in Boston. A related study suggests that younger hepatitis C patients with advanced liver disease should be prioritized for treatment with the new drugs. alt

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AASLD 2012: Patients with Cirrhosis Can Respond Well to Boceprevir or Telaprevir with Careful Monitoring

Real-world experience in the French early-access CUPIC study shows that hepatitis C patients with advanced liver damage can achieve good response to interferon-based triple-therapy including boceprevir (Victrelis) or telaprevir (Incivek), although adverse events are common, according to a presentation at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases Liver Meeting (AASLD 2012) last month in Boston.alt

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Researchers Grow Liver Tissue from Pluripotent Stem Cells

Japanese researchers have produced liver-like tissue from induced pluripotent stem cells in the laboratory that can process drugs like a human liver, according to a presentation at the 10th annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research last week in Yokohama.alt

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