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Friday, October 13, 2017

News Recap:

Research & Discoveries
After an intense hunt, researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) can now describe an important part of the disease’s guerrilla tactics: how hepatitis C converts innocent cells into outright virus factories.  How hepatitis C hides in the body.

Apparently, liver cancer can be caught at an early stage through a newly developed blood test, improving the odds for survival. The test looks for changed gene activity, caused by a process called methylation, that would indicate liver cancer. Blood test may find liver cancer earlier, improve survival.

Did you know that over a third of HIV-positive gay men develop significant liver fibrosis after an episode of acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection? Rapid fibrosis progression in large proportion of HIV-positive gay men after acute HCV.

Also in the news: Patients treated for hepatitis C who achieved sustained virologic response recovered platelet counts, according to recently published data. Hepatitis B coinfection, however, disrupted platelet count recovery, especially in patients with advanced liver disease from chronic HCV. Platelet count recovers after SVR in HCV, disrupted by HBV coinfection.

Treatment
For patients with stage 4 or 5 chronic kidney disease and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, 12 weeks of treatment with glecaprevir and pibrentasvir [Maviret] results in a high rate of sustained virologic response, according to a study published online October 11 in the New England Journal of Medicine. Drug Combo Efficacy Examined for Patients with HCV and Kidney Disease.

Despite dedicated research in the last few decades, significant advancements in the treatment of HCC have not been achieved, and HCC still belongs to the category of cancers with a very low 5-year survival rate of less than 20%. Treating Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Fight Against the Odds.

A study in the US shows that patients with chronic illnesses are generally referred to hospice late in their disease course, which may lead to inadequate time to benefit fully from hospice care. The study highlights the fact that this trend is substantially more prominent among patients with CLD (chronic liver disease). These results should raise awareness for timely hospice referral and incite conscious efforts to improve access to hospice services, which will be essential for enhancing the quality of end-of-life care of patients with CLD. Hospice care may come too late for patients with chronic liver disease.