Tag Archives: HCV

Latest News on Hepatitis C Cures

For tonight’s broadcast of Your Health First, Dr. Rashid Khan joins me to discuss the latest news on fatty liver disease, and the new therapies for hepatitis C, which results in a cure rate of over 95% of the cases. You can listed to the audio from the three segments here.


Dr. Rashid Khan and Dr. Joe Galati Discuss Liver Disease: Part 1 by Your Health First Radio on Mixcloud

Dr. Rashid Khan and Dr. Galati Discuss Fatty Liver Disease: Your Health First Part II by Your Health First Radio on Mixcloud

Hepatitis C: Dr. Rashid Khan and Dr. Joe Galati Discuss-Your Health First Interview Part III by Your Health First Radio on Mixcloud

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Hepatitis C and HIV Co-Infection: Research Study Houston

We are please to announce that Liver Specialists of Texas and our research division, Research Specialists of Texas, will be conducting a clinical research study treating co-infected patients with hepatitis C and HIV infection.

The study will be using a combination of NS5A and NS3/4 protease inhibitors. This is an interferon-free protocol.

If you are interested in participating, contact Paula Juarez at 713-634-5110. If enrolled in this study, all study related testing, medications, labs, and visits are provided free of charge for your participation.

Prior to enrollment and participation, all patients must meet all of the specific entry criteria, which will be reviewed once your medical records are reviewed.

Screening will be starting now, and be completed by September 1, 2013.

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Boceprevir, New Hepatitis C Drug, in New England Journal of Medicine Today

Boceprevir, New Hepatitis C Drug, in New England Journal of Medicine Today

Meeeting in Berlin

At the European Association for the Study of Liver Disease, where I am currently at,  the major buzz in Berlin is hepatitis C, and the new therapies that everyone has been waiting on with great anticipation. In addition to the oral presentations and poster presentation taking place all week, today in the New England Journal of Medicine, two new articles, accompanied by an editorial, was released, presenting research data on Boceprevir, one of the two anti-viral agents poised to be released by the FDA very soon. The first Boceprevir  article deals with patients that are naive to therapy (never treated), while the second article on Boceprevir is concerned with previously treated patients.

The two New England Journal of Medicine articles are quite different. One of them focuses on patients that have previously been treated and analyze their response to a triple course of therapy including interferon, ribavirin, and Boceprevir. In the coming months, this triple therapy will be the new standard of care for patients with genotype 1 hepatitis C. For the non-medical person, reading the articles can be quite daunting. The key points are as follow: (1) patients that were previously treated and had a good response to interferon and ribavirin, but unfortunately relapsed after discontinuation of drug, had a very high response rate to triple therapy, in the order of 75%. (2) those that were previously treated but had less than a full response, still were able to see a significant rise in their viral response in the order of 30-50%. This is a significant increase from retreatment with medications they previously received. The dosing of the 3 drugs will be an issue that both physicians and patients, who will need to learn about the protocol designs. In the studies, there was a 4 week lead in with interferon and ribavirin alone, followed by the initiation of Boceprevir after the initial 4 week.

In the study looking at patient’s naïve to antiviral therapy, the triple therapy with Boceprevir had a sustained virologic response of approximately 68%. There were differences between the between the black and caucasian patients, and this difference will continue to be looked at. This study also had a 4 week lead in, administering interferon and ribavirin prior to the Boceprevir. In this particular study, the design was such that the patient’s who exhibited an early response to therapy, had a shortert total length of treatment.

In addition to these 2 articles that were released today, numerous presentations at the conference were discussed, focusing both on Boceprevir and Teloprevir, with a two protease inhibitors that will be FDA approved in the coming months. The above description of the 2 articles is superficial to say the least. There are many nuances to using these new drugs, and it will require both a good understanding of how these drugs work, and a certain level of patients and carefully monitoring as to how our patients will do. Each of the new protease inhibitors have their own side effect profile which physicians will need to become familiar with. There is the issue of resistance while taking these medicines, and this will be yet another area of detail we will all need to master. Lastly, there is the IL 28B gene pleomorphism, whose presents may confer a better overall response rate, and its lack of, may suggest that therapy should be discontinued sooner than later, due to less of a response. How all this new research and technology fits together is still being sorted out, which is why we have these meeting to share and learn from one another.

From patient’s perspective, the good news is that better therapies are available and more people than ever can be evaluated, treated, and cured of chronic hepatitis C. The pipeline for additional, very effective drugs to combat hepatitis C, or soon to follow as well.

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