Most people are aware of the implications of being diagnosed with HIV, but few have any notion how to live with Hepatitis C. Both viruses are spread through some similar means, but for reasons beyond this blog post, HIV is in our usual lexicon, and Hepatitis C (HCV) is not. This is about to change thanks to new research that has and will lead to breakthrough treatments for this disease.
Between four and five million Americans currently have HCV—most were infected in the 1960s through the 1980s. Fifty percent of these HCV infections are caused by intravenous or other drug use (even casual experimentation decades ago), the rest are from blood transfusions, body modifications such as tattoos and piercings, and sexual transmission.
Those with HCV have up to a 37% risk of mortality due to liver failure. Hepatitis C starts insidiously as inflammation and scarring (fibrosis) but then can progress to cirrhosis and liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma). Because HCV is asymptomatic, up to 75% of cases aren’t diagnosed until it is too late. Unfortunately our screening procedures don’t work well in targeting populations at risk, because the risks occurred so long ago and may not even be remembered.
But, we are close to a tipping point. Due to the development of new drugs HCV will soon be curable in the vast majority of patients. The decades old therapy of interferon and ribavirin work in some, but require lengthy treatment and have hard-to-tolerate side effects.
To help make more sense of these new drugs, and to better understand the changes that will be coming in the treatment of Hepatitis C, please join Dr. Robert S. Brown, Jr. of the Center of Liver Disease and Transplantation for his webinar New Treatment Options for Hepatitis C in 2014 to be held on February 27th at 1:00 PM/ET.
Topics discussed and questions to be answered include:
- What is the timeline for DAA treatment therapies? What can HCV patients expect in the next few years?
- What are the survival rates and treatment costs for HCV?
- What sub-populations of HCV patients require special attention?
- What are the results and updates for the latest Hepatitis C clinical trials?
- What factors should be considered when developing a personal treatment regime for someone affected with HCV?
To register for this program and request a reminder please visits our New Treatment Options for Hepatitis C in 2014 webinar page. To submit a question for Dr. Brown to answer live on our show, visit our question submission form or send an @ reply to our @columbiasurgery Twitter account.
The common drugs used to treat HCV and the ways in which they are combined are:
|Interferon & Ribavirin||
|Boceprevir & Telprevir||
|Sofosbuvir, Interferon & Ribavirin||
|Sofosbuvir & Ribavirin||
|Sofosbuvir with Simeprevir or NS5A inhibitors||