TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — It’s safe to use antiviral drugs to treat hepatitis C in liver cancer survivors, a new study reports.
The findings contradict previous research suggesting that antiviral drugs might increase these patients’ risk of liver cancer recurrence.
That prior research involved a single-center study from Spanish investigators in 2016 that “gained a lot of press and sparked fear about treating liver cancer patients for their hepatitis C,” said Dr. Amit Singal. He is medical director of the liver tumor program at UT Southwestern Medical Center, in Dallas.
Note: This is a very important large population-based study that proves treatment and cure with HCV direct-acting anti-viral medications provides life-saving benefits. Alan
The first prospective, longitudinal study investigating treatment of chronic hepatitis C with direct-acting antivirals finds that the treatment is associated with reduced risk of mortality and liver cancer, according to a study published in The Lancet.
The first prospective, longitudinal study investigating treatment of chronic hepatitis C with direct-acting antivirals finds that the treatment is associated with reduced risk of mortality and liver cancer, according to a study published in The Lancet. The research is the first to demonstrate the clinical effectiveness of direct-acting antivirals on the disease and suggests that they should be considered for all patients with chronic hepatitis C infection.
For ethical reasons a trial with a control arm is not possible and researchers approached this by setting up an observational study of around 10,000 patients. At follow up, about three-quarters had been treated with direct-action antivirals and a quarter were untreated. The incidence of death and hepatocellular carcinoma – the most common form of liver cancer – were significantly decreased in patients who were treated. Their risk of decompensated cirrhosis was not reduced by the treatment.
The first issue of this newsletter was in 1998. Since that time, hepatitis C-related news has seen many changes, many of them awesome. One of the unfortunate changes is the competition for funding. As a result, HCSP has decided that we are going to discontinue the HCV Advocate newsletter. The good news is that there is plenty of information available on the Internet to keep you up-to-date on everything related to hepatitis C.
The last issue of the HCV Advocate will be the March 2019 newsletter. Lucinda and I will reflect on some of the highlights throughout the years, and I will discuss where we will be taking the HCV Advocate web site in 2019.
Note: I believe this is the only way we will be able to identify everyone infected with HCV. Alan
Universal screening for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in this era of direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment would be cost effective and provide greater benefit than the currently recommended birth cohort screening, according to a new analysis that was funded, in part, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation.
The current guidelines, issued in 2011 by the CDC and joined in 2012 by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), call for testing all persons born between 1945 to 1965, in addition to people who inject drugs (PWID) or have other exposure to HCV.
Although the currently recommended birth cohort screening has been proven superior to risk-based targeted screening, and has yet to be fully implemented, Mark Eckman, MD, MS, Division of General Internal Medicine and the Center for Clinical Effectiveness, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, and colleagues considered an alternative strategy as the incidence of acute HCV infection has almost tripled between 2010 and 2015, and the largest increase has been in those born after the designated period.
Note: Not sure what this study really means for the long-term since the study follow-up period was only 36 weeks. Alan
Low levels of free testosterone are common among men with chronic hepatitis C infection following SVR and persist after HCV clearance, according to findings from a prospective, longitudinal cohort study.
“Previous research has shown that low total testosterone (TT), low free testosterone (FT), and elevated sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) are extrahepatic manifestations of chronic HCV when compared with healthy controls,” Chloe S. Chaudhury, MD,post-baccalaureate research fellow at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and colleagues wrote. “There is now a need for studies to examine the effect of HCV and HCV viral clearance on long-term testosterone levels and hypogonadal status.”
To evaluate testosterone levels and the prevalence of low testosterone in men with HCV, Chaudhury and colleagues enrolled 327 patients with chronic HCV infection, including 150 who were coinfected with HIV. They also evaluated a subset of 85 men who had recorded testosterone levels pre-HCV treatment and after SVR. The median follow-up duration was 36 months.
Three separate federal lawsuits by Louisiana inmates with Hepatitis C claim prison officials denied them available, life-saving medicine for more than a year — amounting to a policy to “let them die.”
While the three inmates named in the lawsuits are still alive, the latest filing alleges that multiple other inmates with advanced cases of Hepatitis C died in the time period between when the new drugs were federally approved and when the state Department of Corrections began prescribing the medicine. The drugs were much more effective than prior treatments, yet astronomically more expensive.
“The guys that didn’t file suit died waiting for the state to do the right thing,” said Joseph Long, the attorney representing the three inmates in their suits.