Monday, May 5, 2014

Morning News Ticker - We Are on the Precipice of Treating Virtually Everyone with HCV

Digestive Disease Week 2014 
Read up on key sessions from day two of DDW®, and find out what today and tomorrow still have in store in the Monday issue of DDW Daily News — the official newspaper of Digestive Disease Week.

We Are on the Precipice of Treating Virtually Everyone with HCV
Posted by Rachel Steigerwald on May 4, 2014
Explore Sessions, Featured, Watch Videos

DDW TV interviewed Donald Jensen, MD, about his State-of-the-Art Lecture, Treatment of Hepatitis C: Interferon-Free at Last, taking place at DDW 2014. Dr. Jensen highlights the progress made in treating hepatitis C and how new therapies discussed at this session will change patient care.

Ledipasvir and sofosbuvir (Solvaldi,) with or without ribavirin
SAPPHIRE-II: Interferon-free treatment combo a success for genotype 1 HCV 
Ira M. Jacobson
CHICAGO – A combination treatment of three direct-acting antivirals demonstrated significant efficacy against patients with hepatitis C genotype 1, suggesting that an interferon-free treatment is soon on the horizon for this group of patients.

High rates of SVR12 were seen across all patient groups, regardless of HCV subtype and prior treatment response, including a 95% SVR rate seen in prior null responders, according to results from the phase-3 SAPPHIRE-II study, presented here at Digestive Disease Week 2014.
Continue reading.. 

Two-drug, 12-week treatment successful for genotype 1 HCV
May 4, 2014
CHICAGO — A fixed-dose combination of ledipasvir and sofosbuvir for treatment-experienced patients with genotype 1 hepatitis C resulted in a sustained virologic response for almost all patients enrolled in the phase 3 ION-2 study...
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Difficult-to-treat HCV patients benefit from ledipasvir, sofosbuvir combo
CHICAGO — Treatment with sofosbuvir and ledipasvir is effective and safe for patients with hepatitis C who are typically considered difficult to treat, according to data from the ELECTRON-2 study presented here at Digestive Disease Week 2014.
This population of difficult-to-treat patients includes those with HCV genotype 3, decompensated patients with HCV genotype 1 and patients with HCV genotype 1 who have prior experience with sofosbuvir (Solvaldi, Gilead)....
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Fatty Liver
Bariatric Surgery Improves Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease  
Patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease who had bariatric surgery experienced a reduction in fat deposits and in early-stage fibrosis. 
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Lean NAFLD patients showed higher mortality rates than non-lean patients
May 4, 2014
CHICAGO — Lean patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease had a higher mortality rate compared with non-lean patients with nonalcoholic fatty...
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MedPage Today
DDW -  
Oral HCV Regimen Continues Strong Showing
CHICAGO -- An all-oral antiviral combination led to sustained virologic response (SVR) in more than 90% of patients with the most common type of hepatitis C (HCV) infection in North America. - Continue reading....

The New England Journal Of Medicine
DDW - Therapy of Hepatitis C — Back to the Future

Hepatitis C: Successful Treatment Without Interferon for HCV 3 Interview with:
Stefan Zeuzem, M.D.
Professor of Medicine, Chief Department of Medicine
JW Goethe University Hospital
Frankfurt Germany What are the main findings of the study?
Dr. Zeuzem: Main finding is that also patients infected with HCV 3 can be cured with an IFN-free regimen. However, duration of therapy must be prolonged to 24 weeks. Were any of the findings unexpected?
Dr. Zeuzem: Treatment prolongation from 12 to 16 weeks already suggested that longer treatment duration will increase sustained virologic response (SVR) rates. The magnitude of sustained virologic response  rates with 24 wks SOF + RBV in HCV3 was unexpected. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Zeuzem: Standard of care for patients infected with HCV 2 is now confirmed to be 12 wks SOF + RBV, for HCV 3 infected patients an IFN-free regimen with chances of SVR > 90% is now also available. These options have already been included in the European label. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Zeuzem: The sustained virologic response rates for treatment-experienced patients with HCV 3 and liver cirrhosis are still “only” 60%. Here, further improvement is needed, likely by addition of another direct antiviral agent with a different mechanism of action and HCV3 activity. 
Citation: The New England Journal Of Medicine
DDW-Sofosbuvir and Ribavirin in HCV Genotypes 2 and 3

The New England Journal Of Medicine
DDW - ABT-450/r–Ombitasvir and Dasabuvir with or without Ribavirin for HCV

Healthy Liver - Healthy Digestion
A focus on digestion and a somewhat familiar disorder called Functional Dyspepsia (FD).The medical term simply means - bad digestion, the symptoms vary but are frequently described as a full or bloated feeling after eating. Today,  Dr. Olafur S. Palsson offered commentary on the results of a statistical analyses estimating how common functional dyspepsia (FD) is in American adults, presented at this months DDW meeting.

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In The News

The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 12, Issue 18, No. 2, May 5, 2014. 
Yellow Blood: Hepatitis C and the Modernist Settlement in Japan. 
Vivian Blaxell

Japan has one of the highest rates of hepatitis C virus infection in the industrialized world. This endemic and the challenges it poses for the future of Japan’s healthcare system stem, ironically, from the formation of a modernist settlement beginning in the late 19th century. Modern techno-scientific solutions to political problems inadvertently provided millions of opportunities for hepatitis C to spread in rural communities, among leprosy communities, the traumatized postwar community and into the national blood supply...
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New treatments for Hepatitis C
Listen now
Presented by Dr Norman Swan
Monday 5 May 2014 5:30PM
Chronic hepatitis C infections put people at high risk of cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer and liver transplantation or even death after a long illness. In recent months the US has approved drugs which can raise the cure rate to 90% and higher, with fewer side effects and no need for injections. This medication is under evaluation in Australia, but will be almost unaffordable with costs around ...
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Who Should Get Pricey Hepatitis C Drugs?
Kaiser Health News staff writer Julie Appleby, working in collaboration with The Washington Post, reports: “Simple math illustrates the challenge facing U.S. taxpayers, consumers and insurers following the launch late last year of two expensive new drugs to treat hepatitis C. If all 3 million people estimated to be infected with the virus in America are treated at an average cost of $100,000 each, the amount the U.S. spends on prescription drugs would double, from about $300 billion in one year to more than $600 billion” (Appleby, 5/5).
Read the story.

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