This year’s Liver Meeting was packed with great research, and with it, reason for optimism. Throughout the week, I blogged about my favorite presentations, but with more than 2000 submissions, obviously I left some unmentioned. If I find anything I think needs highlighting, I will mention it in the future. You can also find the latest research and information about hepatitis C and other liver diseases, at HEP’s newsfeed.
For now, here is my last snapshot from Liver Meeting 2016. This year’s meeting had a number of hepatitis C retreatment presentations, offering every reason for optimism for patients who failed prior treatment with direct-acting antivirals (DAAs). This French study is one example of how successful hep C retreatment is looking.
Abstract #898 Retreatment of HCV DAA Failures in Real Life: HCV Infection May Be Always Curable – Denis Ouzan, et al.
This study followed 376 subjects through hep C treatment using a variety of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs). Of these, 20 (5 percent) relapsed (18 males; 2 with fibrosis stage F3, 18 with F4; genotype 1 (12), GT2 (3) GT3 (3) GT4 (2). Two cases had high levels of resistance to NS5A inhibitors.
Of these, 18 were retreated with DAAs. One received Viekirax/ribavirin for 12 weeks;12 patients received Sovaldi/Daklinza/ribavirin for 24 weeks; two received Harvoni for 12 weeks; two patients received Sovaldi/Olysio/ribavirin for 24 weeks and one patient received Sovaldi/Zepatier/ribavirin for 16 weeks.
Conclusion: This study showed high success rate when retreating patients who previously failed DAA therapy. Theoretically, we are quite close to curing hepatitis C in everyone. Now we have to put theory in practice.
Editorial Comments: I chose to feature this study as my last one for the week because it cements the notion that we can eradicate hepatitis C. When I was infected with hepatitis C in 1988, the virus didn’t have a name, let alone a treatment. Then treatment came along for some, but it was difficult to take and often didn’t work.
Now we are on the verge of being able to cure nearly everyone. However, we aren’t. First, many people with hep C don’t know that they are infected. Second, there are obstacles to care and treatment. Third, those who have cirrhosis are still seriously ill. And finally, we have an increase in new hep C cases, largely driven by the opioid epidemic.
Still, hope prevails. Hope is a call to action. And action is something we can all participate in. Speak up, get involved and extend the hand of hope to others. Together we can eliminate hepatitis C.