Treating hepatitis C virus (HCV) could help reduce the number of people waiting for a liver transplant and the urgency of some people’s need for a new liver. Researchers conducted a retrospective study of 103 European liver transplant candidates with hep C and decompensated cirrhosis who did not have hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, the most common form of liver cancer) and who had been treated for hep C.

Findings were presented at the 51st International Liver Congress in Barcelona.

Thirty-five percent of the individuals experienced improvements in liver health to the point where they no longer urgently needed a transplant. Twenty percent of the cohort no longer needed a new liver.

Looking at the 25 people who no longer urgently needed a transplant, the researchers found that they experienced an average 11 percent decrease in the severity of liver disease based on the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score and a 20 percent improvement in their Child-Pugh score. Each of these scoring systems is used to assess the severity of liver disease and the urgency of the need for a new liver.

To read a press release about the study, click here.