Note: this is a very interesting article that has implications the reason some people do not respond to treatment–especially those with decompensated cirrhosis. It may just lead to fine-tuning treatment in the near future – Alan for www.hcvadvocate.org
In a presentation at Digestive Disease Week in Chicago on May 7, researchers presented findings that outlined factors that contribute to the effectiveness of hepatitis C (HCV) treatment.
Not much was known about how HCV interacts with the infected Host. That is, until researchers from the University of Oxford set out to map the genetic interaction between the virus and its host. This was the first “big-data study” of its kind. According to the study, this information is important since, “outcomes of HCV infection and treatment depend on viral and host genetic factors.” Research findings showed “an interaction between host IFNL4 genotypes and an amino acid residue in the HCV NS5A protein determines HCV viral load.” The authors concluded that these findings are important because they “highlight systemic differences in the innate human response and discuss how these might relate to previous associations with spontaneous clearance and clinical treatment.”
Now, the research presented at Digestive Disease Week found that, in HCV patients with advanced cirrhosis, identifying the genetic makeup of patients can help doctors predict the likelihood that these patients will improve with direct-acting antiviral (DAA) drugs. This early knowledge could minimize the need for liver transplants, a new study suggests.