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Hepatitis C

Accelerated Liver Disease Progression in HIV-HCV Coinfected Patients May Be Due to Increased Liver Inflammation

Although results have not been not entirely consistent, several studies have shown that HIV-HCV coinfected patients tend to experience more rapid liver disease progression than HIV negative people with hepatitis C alone. A study reported in the January 11, 2008 issue of AIDS suggests a possible mechanism underlying accelerated liver disease progression in coinfected individuals.


Eltrombopag Raises Platelet Counts, Enabling Initiation of Interferon-based Therapy for Hepatitis C

Thrombocytopenia, or low platelet count, can lead to easy bruising and prolonged bleeding. People with advanced liver fibrosis or cirrhosis often develop thrombocytopenia, and it can also be a side effect of interferon alfa therapy. For this reason, patients with pre-existing thrombocytopenia are typically advised not to use interferon-based therapy for hepatitis C, even though they may be the ones who need treatment most urgently.

Antiviral Activity of Interferon beta-1a with or without Ribavirin in Asian Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C

Treatment with pegylated interferon alpha-2a (Pegasys) or pegylated interferon alpha -2b (PegIntron) plus ribavirin is the current standard of care for treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. This regimen produces a sustained virological response (SVR) in approximately 50%-60% of patients.

Acute Hepatitis C Infection and Spontaneous Viral Clearance in Adults and Children

Studies of acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection can be challenging, since a majority of infected people do not experience symptoms, and thus do not present for care and HCV testing.

Asian Patients Appear to Respond Better than Whites to Pegylated Interferon Plus Ribavirin for Hepatitis C

As reported in the July 19, 2007 advance online edition of the American Journal of Gastroenterology, researchers with the Canadian Pegasys Expanded Access Group conducted a study to determine whether Asian race/ethnicity is an independent predictor of response to antiviral therapy in patients with hepatitis C.

Adherence to Hepatitis C Treatment among Recovering Heroin Users on Methadone Maintenance

As reported in the September 2007 issue of the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Diana Sylvestre, MD, from the University of California at San Francisco and colleagues evaluated the impact of mental health issues, active drug use, and other potential adherence barriers in a real-world sample of recovering drug users on methadone maintenance therapy.

Anadys to Halt Development of Investigational Hepatitis C Drug ANA975

Anadys Pharmaceuticals announced last week that it will discontinue development of its investigational anti-HCV drug candidate, ANA975, a toll-like receptor 7 agonist.Anadys was developing the agent in collaboration with Novartis. The decision comes in the wake of disappointing data from toxicology studies in animals. Toll-like receptor agents can cause excessive immune stimulation, leading to a range of side effects.

Attitudes of Health Professionals toward Caring for People with Hepatitis C

With an estimated 170 million people worldwide infected with hepatitis C, those with chronic disease are expected to experience significant morbidity and mortality. As a result, many health professionals likely will care for these patients at some point in their medical careers. Despite this situation, there are scant data on the attitudes of health professionals toward caring for individuals living with hepatitis C. To help fill this gap, researchers at the University of Melbourne in Australia conducted a cross-sectional survey to explore the inter-relationship among health prpfessionals' hepatitis C knowledge and attitudes towards treating people with hepatitis C and their self-reported clinical behavior.

Atorvastatin Does Not Inhibit HCV Replication at Normal Doses

In July 2006, researchers reported data from a laboratory study showing that HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors -- better known as statins -- suppressed replication in an HCV "replicon" system. Statins are widely used to manage elevated blood cholesterol. According to a study published in the April 2007 issue of Hepatology, however, statins may not be active against HCV in patients at the doses typically used.