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Current Hepatitis News and Events, Hepatitis News Articles.
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Hepatitis C virus interference via hepcidin synthesis
Iron accumulation in the liver has a negative influence on chronic hepatitis C outcome. Hepcidin, a versatile regulator of iron homeostasis is engaged in this process. Nevertheless, factors influencing maturation of hepcidin in the setting of chronic liver injury are unclear. A new finding from Poland is the association between serum prohepcidin and PEG-IFN/ribavirin efficacy in chronic hepatitis C, which may suggest possible HCV interference with hepcidin synthesis. (2010-04-12)

Elastography: A useful method in depicting liver hardness
Elasticity measurements have been reported to be useful for the diagnosis and differentiation of many tumors, which are usually harder than normal surrounding tissues. Recently, trans-abdominal real-time elastography was proposed as a new method for noninvasive staging of liver fibrosis. A recently study from Romania found that computer-enhanced dynamic analysis of elastography movies is better able to characterize and differentiate between different degrees of liver fibrosis. (2010-04-12)

Successful short-term peg-interferon monotherapy for chronic hepatitis
The standard duration of interferon therapy for chronic hepatitis C could be shortened according to the virological and clinical status of each patient. A research group in Japan proposed a new concept, (2010-04-07)

New hope for treating hepatitis C: Telaprevir
Researchers found that telaprevir, a protease inhibitor, combined with standard hepatitis C treatment, cures a significantly higher number of difficult-to-treat patients than standard treatment alone. (2010-04-07)

Henry Ford Hospital atudy: Hepatitis C infection doubles risk for kidney cancer
Physicians at Henry Ford Hospital have found that infection with the hepatitis C virus increases the risk for developing kidney cancer. Using administrative data from more than 67,000 Henry Ford Health System patients, physicians found that over the period 1997-2008, 0.6 percent patients with hepatitis C infection developed kidney cancer whereas only 0.3 percent patients without the disease developed kidney cancer. (2010-04-07)

Retreating patients with hepatitis C: Telaprevir boosts cure rate
Adding the investigational drug telaprevir to standard treatment for hepatitis C infection cures about half the patients willing to give therapy a second try. That compares to a cure rate of just 14 percent among those who were retreated with the standard regimen, according to researchers at the Duke Clinical Research Institute. (2010-04-07)

Donor kidneys from hepatitis C patients needlessly denied to patients with that infection
More than half of donor kidneys in the United State infected with hepatitis C are thrown away, despite the need among hepatitis C patients who may die waiting for an infection-free organ, Johns Hopkins research suggests. (2010-04-01)

Common test for detecting liver problems in children is often interpreted incorrectly
New research led by physician-scientists at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine shows that the test most commonly used to screen pediatric patients for chronic liver disease is often incorrectly interpreted in many children's hospitals throughout the United States. (2010-03-31)

Predictors of loss of hepatitis B surface antigen in patients co-infected with HIV and HBV
Co-infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) poses a treatment challenge. A research group in US retrospectively analyzed an adult cohort of HIV and HBV co-infected patients to determine factors that influence treatment outcome defined by loss of HBV surface antigen (HBsAg). High CD4 cell count at the time of HBV infection is the most important predictor of loss of HBsAg in HIV co-infected patients. (2010-03-30)

Valuable baseline data of recent hepatitis A in Asian area
There has been an apparent epidemiological shift in hepatitis A virus seroprevalence and a change in the peak age of HAV hepatitis in Korea, and the cases of acute hepatitis A have increased rapidly during the past 10 years due to the emergence of susceptible adults. A research group in South Korea provided valuable baseline data of recent hepatitis A in an Asian area with an epidemiological shift. (2010-03-30)

Researchers identify potential new target for treating hepatitis C
A team of scientists including University of Utah researchers has discovered that binding of a potent inhibitor of the hepatitis C virus to the genetic material of the virus causes a major conformational change that may adversely affect the ability of the virus to replicate. (2010-03-29)

Hepatitis C treatment less effective in urban minority patients
A recent study confirms that the standard hepatitis C therapy, pegylated interferon and ribavirin, is significantly less effective in urban minority patients treated in an ordinary clinical practice setting compared with results produced during clinical trials. Results of this study appear in the April issue of Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. (2010-03-25)

Vaccinating children for flu may help prevent transmission, protect those who are not vaccinated
Immunizing children and adolescents with inactivated influenza vaccine resulted in reduced rates of influenza in their community compared to a similar community in which children did not receive the vaccine, suggesting that vaccinating children may help prevent transmission of the virus and offer protection for unimmunized community residents, according to a study in the March 10 issue of JAMA. (2010-03-09)

NIAD media availability: Vaccinating children against flu helps protect wider community
Results of a clinical trial conducted in a largely self-contained religious community during the 2008-09 influenza season show that immunizing children against seasonal influenza can significantly protect unvaccinated community members against influenza as well. The study was conducted to determine if immunized children could act as a barrier to limit the spread of influenza to the wider, unvaccinated community, a concept known as herd immunity. (2010-03-09)

Surprising findings about hepatitis C and insulin resistance
We have known for several years that hepatitis C, a common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer, also makes people three to four times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. In studying the insulin resistance of 29 people with hepatitis C, Australian researchers have confirmed that they have high insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. However, almost all insulin resistance was in muscle, with little or none in the liver, a very surprising finding given that hepatitis C is a liver disease. (2010-03-09)

Groundbreaking research to find vaccine for hepatitis C
Researchers at the Peninsula Medical School in the UK are developing a vaccine for hepatitis C. (2010-03-04)

Ghrelin mitigates liver fibrosis in animal models; regulates human fibrosis
Spanish researchers determined that rats treated with recombinant ghrelin displayed a reduction in liver fibrosis. Ghrelin, a stomach hormone, reduced the amount of fibrogenic cells by 25 percent in the treated rodents. Research further showed ghrelin prevented acute liver damage and reduced oxidative stress and inflammation in the animal models. Details of this study are published in the March issue of Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. (2010-03-01)

Reliable biomarkers needed for early detection of liver cancer
While biomarkers are needed to complement ultrasound in the early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma, neither des-gamma-carboxy prothrombin nor the most widely used biomarker, alpha fetoprotein, is optimal. (2010-02-25)

Hepatitis B and C remain public health issue -- up to 5.3 million Americans infected
A recent report by the Institute of Medicine confirmed that 3.5 to 5.3 million people (1-2 percent of the US population) have chronic hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus infections. Despite efforts by federal, state and local government agencies to control and prevent these diseases, they remain a serious public health concern. The full IOM report is now available online and published in Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. (2010-02-23)

The mouse with a human liver: A new model for the treatment of liver disease
How do you study -- and try to cure in the laboratory -- an infection that only humans can get? A team led by Salk Institute researchers does it by generating a mouse with an almost completely human liver. This (2010-02-22)

Enzyme deficiency protects hepatitis C patients from treatment-related anemia
Many people who undergo treatment for hepatitis C develop hemolytic anemia, a disorder that destroys red blood cells. In some cases, it is so severe they have to reduce their medication or stop therapy altogether. But now, scientists in Duke University's Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy have discovered two genetic alterations linked to a benign enzyme condition that keep some patients anemia-free. (2010-02-21)

New screening system for hepatitis C
A newly designed system of identifying molecules for treating hepatitis C should enable scientists to discover novel and effective therapies for the dangerous and difficult-to-cure disease of the liver, says Zhilei Chen, a Texas A&M University assistant professor of chemical engineering who helped develop the screening system. The system, Chen explains, enables researchers to study the effects of molecules that obstruct all aspects of the hepatitis C virus life cycle. (2010-02-11)

A useful tool to diagnose primary biliary cirrhosis
A research team from United States evaluated the potential application of IgM and IgG immunohistochemistry (IHC) in the setting of autoimmune liver diseases, especially in the differential diagnosis of primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) from other conditions -- autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), or primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). Their study showed that IgM and IgG IHC may be a useful tool when PBC is a diagnostic consideration. (2010-02-09)

Is hepatitis B virus genotype C independently associated with cirrhosis?
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is the most important risk factor of liver cirrhosis in HBV endemic areas. A research group in China performed a large epidemiological study to investigate the association of HBV genotypes with the development of probable cirrhosis in community-based population. They found that HBV genotype C was independently associated with probable cirrhosis in the hepatitis B antigen-negative subjects. (2010-02-09)

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease associated with high mortality rates
Researchers from the Karolinska Institute determined that patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease have a higher overall mortality rate compared with the general population. Details of this study are available in the February issue of Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. (2010-01-27)

Study confirms accuracy of transient elastography in NAFLD
Researchers from France and Hong Kong determined that transient elastography, a noninvasive, ultrasonic imaging modality, can be accurately performed in the majority of patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease to exclude advanced fibrosis. Full findings of this study, funded by the Chinese University of Hong Kong, appear in the February issue of Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. (2010-01-27)

Engineering a new way to study hepatitis C
Researchers at MIT and Rockefeller University have successfully grown hepatitis C virus in otherwise healthy liver cells in the laboratory, an advance that could allow scientists to develop and test new treatments for the disease. (2010-01-25)

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
The following are tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology: (2010-01-21)

Link between obesity and enhanced cancer risk elucidated
Epidemiological studies indicate that being overweight or obese is associated with increased cancer risk. The most dramatic effect of obesity on cancer risk has been noted for a common form of liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma or HCC. Modeling the effect of obesity in mice, researchers at the UC San Diego School of Medicine have conclusively demonstrated that obesity is tumor-promoting and have obtained evidence that this effect depends on induction of low-grade, chronic inflammation. (2010-01-21)

Potential new class of drugs to combat hepatitis C identified by Stanford scientists
Stanford University School of Medicine scientists have discovered a novel class of compounds that, in experiments in vitro, inhibit replication of the virus responsible for hepatitis C. (2010-01-20)

Prognosis of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma
A research team from China statistically evaluated the clinical characteristics, pathology, treatment and prognosis of patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) to determine whether these parameters could contribute to a better prediction of patient survival. Their study showed that surgical radical resection is still the most effective means to cure ICC. Certain laboratory tests (such as carbohydrate antigen 19-9) can effectively predict the survival of the patients with ICC. (2010-01-15)

Treatment for chronic hepatitis C: A phase II study
A research team from Italy conducted a phase II study evaluating the molecular and clinical effect of ketoprofen plus pegylated interferon with or without ribavirin in patients with genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C. Their results on hepatitis C virus kinetics and interferon signaling, together with the efficacy and safety data, offer the rationale to further explore this three-drug combination in chronic hepatitis C, especially in difficult to treat patients. (2010-01-15)

A novel and simple formula to predict treatment success in chronic hepatitis C
A study group from Japan used only simple clinical data to predict the treatment success of peg-interferon plus ribavirin therapy for chronic hepatitis C with a formula using a logistic regression model. The results suggested that a novel formula combined with viral kinetics provides a clear direction of therapy for each patient and enables the best tailored treatment. (2010-01-14)

IOM report recommends steps to tackle hepatitis B and C
Stepped-up vaccination requirements, a boost in resources for prevention and treatment, and a public awareness campaign similar to the effort that dispelled the stigma of HIV/AIDS are needed to curb the health threats posed by hepatitis B and hepatitis C. (2010-01-11)

Hepatitis B Foundation awards UT School of Public Health professor
R. Palmer Beasley, M.D., Ashbel Smith Professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health, has been awarded the Hepatitis B Foundation's Distinguished Scientist Award 2010. (2010-01-08)

Caffeine consumption associated with less severe liver fibrosis
Researchers from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases determined that patients with chronic hepatitis C virus who consumed more than 308 mg of caffeine daily had milder liver fibrosis. The daily amount of caffeine intake found to be beneficial is equivalent to 2.25 cups of regular coffee. Details of this study are available in the January 2010 issue of Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. (2010-01-05)

Liver stiffness measurements identify patients with rapid or slow fibrosis
A recent study by doctors from the Hospital ClĂ­nic in Barcelona, Spain, determined that repeated liver stiffness measurements in the first year following liver transplant (LT) could discriminate between slow and rapid (2010-01-05)

Natural compound blocks hepatitis C infection
Researchers have identified two cellular proteins that are important factors in hepatitis C virus infection, a finding that may result in the approval of new and less toxic treatments for the disease, which can lead to liver cancer and cirrhosis. (2010-01-04)

Head-to-head studies identify best treatment regimen for hepatitis C
In patients with chronic hepatitis C, treatment with peginterferon alpha-2a (PegIFN2a) plus ribavirin (RBV) better suppresses the virus to undetectable levels in the blood than treatment with peginterferon alpha-2b (PegIFN2b) plus RBV. (2010-01-04)

The global dynamics and spread of Hepatitis C virus 1a and 1b: A phylogeographical analysis
Research published in PLoS Medicine finds that the global spread of Hepatitis C virus coincided with widespread use of transfused blood and with the expansion of intravenous drug use. (2009-12-14)

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