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Friday, April 6, 2018

News Recap:

HCV – Liver Cancer (HCC):
Liver Cancer on the Rise in Backdrop of Undiagnosed Hep C. Liver cancer, one of the greatest challenges to hepatologists today, will be in the spotlight at the upcoming International Liver Congress (ILC) 2018. It will become an even greater challenge in the near future, said Morris Sherman, PhD, from the University of Toronto, who is chair of the Canadian Liver Foundation.

Testing for hepatitis C lags with baby boomers despite high infection rate. Testing for hepatitis C, a major cause of liver cancer, is lagging behind among the group of Americans with the highest rate of infection: baby boomers. A recent study showed that only about 13 percent of baby boomers were tested in 2015, up just slightly from 12 percent in 2013. U.S. public health authorities recommend all people in that demographic — those born between 1945 and 1965 — be screened for hepatitis C.

Hepatitis B:
Obesity Linked to Increased Risk of Liver Cancer in Hepatitis B Patients. Chronic hepatitis B patients have a higher risk of hepatocellular carcinoma than the general population, which has been well-established and known to be caused by progression of hepatitis B infection into severe liver diseases. The findings of recent studies highlight that high body mass index is associated with risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in chronic hepatitis B patients, especially in women, which may be partially explained by higher fat content for the same unit of body mass index in women compared to men.

Hepatitis B: Four in five infected Britons don’t know they have the virus. It is estimated 0.7 per cent of the UK population or around 441,000, have the virus which can cause deadly hepatitis-B-related liver disease. Yet despite a test being available since the 1970s just a fifth of infected Britons have been diagnosed.

Hepatitis E:
EASL releases clinical practice guideline for hepatitis E. The European Association for the Study of the Liver released a new clinical practice guideline for hepatitis E, specifically focused on genotype 3 and 4, which EASL recently published in Journal of Hepatology. “Infection with hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality, representing an important global health problem.”

Research & Discoveries:
Conatus Pharma’s Liver Disease Drug Flunks First Phase 2 Test. Emricasan, developed as a treatment for chronic liver disease, has failed to beat a placebo in a mid-stage study, the first of four underway for the drug. Emricasan was tested in liver transplant patients whose hepatitis C virus has cleared, but who still have fibrosis or cirrhosis in the transplanted organ. The drug is meant to reduce the activity of enzymes that play a role in inflammation and cell death.

In worldwide first, Hong Kong hospital probe finds common blood tool infected liver patient with hepatitis C virus. Queen Mary Hospital will screen 58 patients for hepatitis C to rule out an outbreak of the infectious disease, after an investigation found – in a worldwide first – that a common reusable blood collection tool could have led to the virus being spread from its source, a drug addict who later died.

Hepatitis: India to keep fighting, new test may come handy. According to experts, with challenges such as awareness, accessibility, compliance and affordability, India can only eradicate hepatitis by 2080 (as against global goal of 2030) if they start acting now. In 2016, of the 400 million people infected by viral hepatitis globally, about 13% were Indians.