Sunday, October 6, 2013

Hepatitis C Newsletters, New Drugs, and A New Book On Treatment

 Newsletters, New Drugs, and A New Book On Treatment

Hello Folks,
Here we are a week into October, a month for picking apples, carving pumpkins, and preparing for the review of two promising HCV drugs, sofosbuvir and simeprevir by the Antiviral Drugs Advisory Committee.

If all goes well during the approval process, these drugs could be approved by early December of this year.

Physicians predict with new agents so close to FDA approval people who have waited to begin HCV therapy are now preparing for treatment.

The decision to begin therapy is a difficult one, understanding the regimens, liver disease and time frames on the availability of new drugs can be overwhelming.

Unfortunately not everyone can wait for new therapies to be approved, nor should they. If you are preparing for treatment a new book is available to guide you gently through the process.

As mentioned yesterday on the blog, Lucinda K. Porter, RN, the author of Free from Hepatitis C has just published "Hepatitis C Treatment One Step at a Time" - a must read for anyone considering therapy.
The HCV community is very familiar and grateful for her contributions to HCV Advocate, we all read both "Snapshots" and "HEALTHWISE" which are published each month in their popular newsletter.
Lucinda is an active speaker, educator, and patient who has previously undergone HCV therapy twice, she is currently awaiting results from her third attempt. We all wait with her, knowing in our heart this time she will be successful!

October HCV Newsletters
Each month this blog provides a link to HCV Newsletters published by advocacy groups devoted to increasing awareness about hepatitis C. As additional October newsletters become available this post will be updated, with the newest addition listed just below.

A monthly rewind of news and hot topics are also included.

***Newsletters Updated October 19 2013
American Liver Foundation
Liver Lowdown is the monthly general interest e-newsletter of the American Liver Foundation.

In accordance with the Foundation’s mission, the e-newsletter is disseminated to provide information about the prevention, treatment and cure of liver disease, as well as the organization’s research and advocacy endeavors.

Content includes updates about the Foundation’s educational and signature programs; an in-depth focus on specific types of liver disease, and profiles of liver patients’ and caregivers’ personal experiences

October Newsletter

Liver Disease: The Big Picture
To coincide with Liver Awareness Month, here’s a Q&A “big picture” guide that highlights key issues about liver disease.  Plus, watch the video that reveals how people like you or someone you love can, without warning, be affected by liver disease.
Read More

 Liver Awareness Month 2013- 13 Ways to Have a Healthy Liver
The best way to fight liver disease is to avoid it, if at all possible. As we observe Liver Awareness Month in 2013, here are 13 ways to achieve liver wellness. Appropriately, that’s one useful tip for each year of the new century.
Read More

After David’s Long Journey Fighting Liver Disease, He Is Back on His Feet—in the Kitchen!
Want to identify the types, stages and treatment of liver disease?
David Roncari is the living example of someone who knows all about them. His medical history: Hepatitis C (twice), cirrhosis and a liver transplant.

Also, look for the video about David, photos and—because he’s so passionate about cooking—one of David’s special recipes.
Read More

For Liver Awareness Month in October, a Quick Quiz and Why Being Overweight May Destroy Your Liver
A month devoted to the importance of liver awareness gives you the opportunity to realize why the liver is so important. Take a quick quiz (just four questions!) And find out about the mounting threat posed by obesity and fatty livers.
Read More

ALF Website
The Hepatitis C: Diagnosis, Treatment, Support website
1-800-GOLIVER  (1-800-465-4837)

In addition, questions sent on e-mail to will be promptly answered.
Stay Connected
Join Our Mail List

Check Us Out On Twitter and Facebook
  Twitter  Facebook

NYC Viral Hepatitis Monthly E-Newsletter

October Newsletter

Hep C RNA Reflex Tests Now Available from Commercial Labs:
Quest, Labcorp & BioReference. Will increase rate of complete diagnosis.

Causes of Death among People with Hepatitis C in NYC, 2000‐2011.

and more.......

Join Us

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October/November issue

Understanding Breast Cancer Early Detection, Improved Treatments Save Lives

More women are beating breast cancer these days, in part because of improved treatments and screening. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found in its early stages, it may be easier to treat. 

Read more about breast cancer.


Most Viewed



LIVERight E-Zine

Your liver plays a critical role in your overall health and everyday you make decisions that impact it in positive and negative ways. If you want to LIVERight (live right), it's important to understand what healthy choices or precautions you can take to safeguard your liver health in daily life. Our LIVERight Ezine provides positive, preventative and practical liver health tips and much more.

To subscribe to our free ezine, please click here.  

CLF updates you and interacts with you on all things liver
Stay Updated

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October Round-Up

Hepatitis C News

Visit, an online community for those living with hepatitis C

A monthly round-up of all things hep C! Taking a look at recent developments in hep C treatments, celebrities who live with the virus and the latest contributions from our community here at Hepatitis C News. 

Stay connected

 Twitter  Facebook
 HCV Advocate Newsletter 

The HCV Advocate newsletter is a valuable resource designed to provide the hepatitis C community with monthly updates on events, clinical research, and education

October Newsletter

In This Issue:
Stories written by ordinary people sharing personal experiences living with hepatitis C.

Sanjiv's Story
Updated: September 2013
 “Conquering Hepatitis C & Heart Disease”

Connect With HCV Advocate

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The hepc.bull, has been “Canada’s hepatitis C journal” since the late 1990′s and has been published nonstop since 2001. The monthly newsletter contains the latest research results, government policy changes, activities and campaigns you can get involved in, articles by patients and caregivers, and a list of support groups plus other useful links.


Living in Balance
Facts HCV and the Brain

Hep C—New & Immigrant Canadians

HepCBC President’s Report

And More!

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 GI & Hepatology News is the official newspaper of the AGA Institute and provides the gastroenterologist with timely and relevant news and commentary about clinical developments and about the impact of health-care policy. The newspaper is led by an internationally renowned board of editors.

View Current Issue (VOL. 7 NO. 10 OCTOBER 2013)
 PDF | Interactive Version

In This Issue
Novel HCV therapy leads to rapid response

Pentoxifylline/prednisolone: no survival benefit in patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis, compared with prednisolone alone
Connect With AGA

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Websites With Information and News Updates   

CAP Hepatitis C Literature Review
Monthly Pubmed Review of the most relevant research on HCV

September Literature Review

Hepatitis C Choices
5th edition Free Online Book

Stay Connected With CAP

Medivir AB has reported that Janssen Pharmaceutical R&D Ireland (Janssen) has been informed by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) that simeprevir has been approved for the treatment of genotype 1 chronic  hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

Sofosbuvir and Daclatasvir - Drug therapy offers new hope to liver transplant hepatitis C patients
Dr. Robert Fontana, professor of internal medicine and  medical director of  liver transplantation at U-M Health System, obtained  emergency approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration to give Gholston a treatment that combined two oral antiviral medications,
sofosbuvir and daclatasvir.

Achillion Pipeline Update: Hepatitis C Drug Still on Hold by U.S. FDA
Achillion today received a response from the U. S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, on the clinical hold related to sovaprevir, Achillion's NS3 protease inhibitor. The FDA response indicated that, while Achillion's submission addressed all issues noted in the FDA's June 29, 2013 letter, the FDA concluded that the removal of the clinical hold is not warranted.

Real-world SVR rate about 33% with hepatitis C triple therapy
Only one-third of a group of patients with hepatitis C achieved a sustained virologic response (SVR) when a protease inhibitor was added to standard ribavirin and interferon dual therapy

Of 42 patients who started on triple therapy with boceprevir, 9 had to drop out because of previously recognized adverse events, including thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, anemia, and depression. Five other patients did not comply with treatment, and treatment failed in 10. About half of the patients were new to therapy and the rest either non- responders to dual-therapy or triple-therapy relapsers.

Of the 18 who completed treatment, 9 achieved SVR at 3 months and 5 at 6 months. The four remaining patients relapsed.

All-Oral Therapy With Sofosbuvir and GS-0938 for 14 Days in Treatment-Naive Geno 1 
Treatment with the HCV nucleoside inhibitors sofosbuvir and GS-0938—alone and in combination—led to rapid and substantial reductions in viral load without any incidences of viral breakthrough. Sofosbuvir demonstrated potent HCV RNA suppression when administered alone for 7 days, an antiviral effect almost double that observed with GS-9851 at the same dose. Sofosbuvir is currently in phase 3 clinical development as a possible backbone of multiple anti-HCV regimens for chronic hepatitis C.

Combining Drugs Cures Some With Hepatitis C
This isn't new information, but the video was released a few weeks ago. It discusses a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association using Sofosbuvir/Ribavirin without interferon in genotype 1 patients who have characteristics associated with poor response to other treatments.

Syndromes and conditions linked to hepatitis C
This review aims to provide an overview of the conditions with the greatest level of evidence supporting a direct link with HCV, as well as looking at the potentially most life-threatening manifestations, with a focus on investigations and management.

Hepatitis C Treatment: When You Can't or Don't Want to Wait
The current treatment for hepatitis C consists of taking peginterferon and ribavirin. If you have genotype 1, then you take a third drug that is a protease inhibitor (either Incivek or Victrelis). The side effects of the current treatment are quite challenging, so much so that many hepatitis C patients are postponing treatment, opting to wait for interferon-free regimens. 

Some patients can't wait........

 Canada should begin screening 'Baby Boomers' for the hepatitis C virus infection, since this age group is likely the largest group to have the illness, and most don't know they have it, say a group of liver specialists in the Toronto Western Hospital Francis Family Liver Clinic.

 Cirrhosis and Fibrosis
CAP offers a series of short lectures on hepatitis C, in this 20 minute video: Cirrhosis: a scarring of the liver,  Dr. Robert Gish explains the scaring process in detail
The present study establishes the benefits of the low-calorie diet and low-fat diet in management of patients with hepatitis C regarding improvement of insulin resistance, steatosis and also liver fibrosis.

Overweight or obese patients with hepatitis C undergoing a lifestyle intervention (specific dietary intervention and physical activity) for 1-year  had significant improvements in body weight, lipid and hepatic profiles.

Dr. Joe Galati - Watch: Hepatitis C Diet and Exercise
It is now well known that obese individuals with hepatitis C have a higher chance of developing fibrosis, scarring, and cirrhosis of the liver. Diabetes, a fatty liver, and elevated levels of insulin also contribute to a greater chance of scarring and cirrhosis.

Alcohol and The Liver
Watch: Alcohol, Acetaminophen, Liver, Cirrhosis and Transplant
In Houston, Dr. Joe Galati, Medical Director-Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation, and Dr. Howard Monsour, Chief-Hepatology at Houston Methodist discuss the effects of alcohol on the liver.
Milk Thistle
 Hepatitis C - Milk Thistle Public Service Announcement
This announcement was a collaborative creation by PharmD. students of the University of Rhode Island. The video is an informative public service announcement targeted towards Hepatitis C patients, regarding the use of the natural supplement milk thistle.

The Flu
Chronic hepatitis C can increase your risk of complications from the flu, but how effective is the flu vaccine during HCV therapy and should people on treatment be vaccinated?

Flu Forecast
A new tool that can predict when the flu will reach your area.
Just enter your zip code and view your flu risk for the next three weeks.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Flu vaccination sharply reduced the risk of community-acquired pneumonia, one of the most serious complications of influenza, a researcher said here.

In a case test-negative study, flu vaccination was associated with a 59% reduction in the risk of being admitted to hospital with pneumonia, according to Carlos Grijalva, MD, of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

However, vaccine efficacy appeared to be higher in children than in adults, Grijalva reported at the IDWeek meeting.

High-Dose Flu Vax Better for Frail Elderly
Among the frail elderly in long-term care, a high-dose influenza vaccine improved antibody responses compared with standard vaccines, a researcher said. The high-dose vaccine was approved in 2009 for people 65 and older, Zimmerman noted, but it was tested in healthy people, with an average age of 73, living in the community

October is National Liver Awareness Month

 More than 75 percent of the estimated 3 million US citizens with HCV are baby boomers. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that all baby boomers be tested for hepatitis C one time with a simple blood test. The CDC warns that baby boomers do not know enough about the health care they received in the 1970s and 1980s—including whether they received transfusions or were exposed to blood in other ways putting them at risk for contracting HCV. 

As long as we are healthy, there is much about our own bodies that we simply take for granted. The liver, for example, is one organ that is not always well understood by most people. The liver is the largest organ inside the human body. It filters harmful substances from the blood, makes substances that digest food, and changes food into energy. Its healthy functioning is vital to our overall health.

October is National Liver Awareness Month, an opportunity for all of us to learn a little more about the liver's essential role. During this month, health providers, hospitals and organizations like the American Liver Foundation are urging Americans across the nation to take control of their health by learning about this important organ - how it functions, how to spot the common signs of liver disease, and what steps people can take to protect their liver. Education is especially important in the fight against liver disease - which is rapidly becoming one of the nation's most serious public health problems.

Liver disease ranks as a top 10 cause of death for Americans, with more than 26,000 people dying each year from some form of chronic liver disease. More than 30 million Americans - one in every 10 U.S. citizens - are affected by some kind of liver disease, including hepatitis, cirrhosis and liver cancer. In fact, unlike most cancers, the incidence of liver cancer is actually increasing.

Getting plenty of the right kind of exercise and eating good foods are both very important to maintaining a healthy liver. Here are a few other things you can do to maintain good liver health:

• Consume alcohol only in moderation.

• Discuss your current mix of medications with your physician. Taking too many medicines can be toxic to your liver.

• Avoid mixing alcohol with other drugs or medications unless approved by a physician.

• Ensure proper ventilation when using aerosol cleaning sprays.

• Take precautions when working with chemicals. Pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals can cause liver damage when they come into contact with the skin.

Many forms of liver disease are preventable through healthy lifestyle choices like exercise and eating the right foods. Alcohol-related liver disease, for example, is caused by excessive alcohol consumption and is the most common preventable type of liver disease. Other types of liver disease, particularly hepatitis A and B, can be controlled by vaccines. If undiagnosed and left untreated, however, Hepatitis B can lead to serious illness such as cirrhosis and liver cancer.

The liver processes everything we eat, drink, breathe and even put on our skin. When the liver is not functioning properly, it can result in acute and chronic illnesses, or even death. Unfortunately, many people do not recognize the symptoms of liver disease and are unaware they have an illness until it's too late.

Some signs that may indicate liver disease include:

• Unusually dark urine, unusually light-colored stools, bloody stools or stools that are tar-like.

• A yellowish discoloration of the skin or eyes.

• Abdominal swelling or severe abdominal pain.

• Chronic fatigue, nausea or loss of appetite.

People exhibiting one or more of these symptoms should contact their physician. However, people with liver disease often experience no symptoms, so it is important that patients get regular screenings, know their risk factors and talk to their healthcare provider about whether they may be at risk for hepatitis or liver disease

Off The Cuff
Elderly Vegas man sentenced to 17 years in fake stem cell case
 An 87-year-old Las Vegas man was sentenced to serve more than 17 years in federal prison in a case involving the implantation of phony stem cells in chronically ill patients.

As described by an indictment and evidence in Sapse's trial, the Las Vegas resident hired a pediatrician, Ralph Conti, in 2005 as part of a scheme in which Sapse convinced patients to undergo an experimental implant procedure, promising to cure them of their ailments. Conti served to perform the procedure on at least 34 patients throughout 2006, knowing they would not benefit them in any way, Bogden's office said. 

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