Journal Articles Since the Liver Meeting

journalWriting about the hep C research presented at the Liver Meeting 2015 in November started us wondering about what has been published since the meeting. Thus, the following highlights some recent* journal articles and press releases about hep C.

Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) (December 2015)

Summary: Due to budget cuts, high hep C treatment costs, and an increasing inmate population, the number of inmates in treatment has declined.

Summary: Upcoming health decisions in Canada will center around: a new health accord to replace the lapsed 2004 Health Accord, PharmaCare, assisted death and marijuana, health promotion, indigenous health, foreign aid and refugee health. [This was included in this blog in hopes of helping hep C advocates.]

The Lancet (November 2015)

Summary: In 1992, the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS opened in Vancouver. It has worked against HIV/AIDS and now, with help from BC’s provincial government, will also work against HCV.

Summary: A review done to estimate the frequency of blood-borne viral infection in people with serious mental illness.

Hepatology (December 2015)

HCV: Direct-Acting Antiviral Agents Against Vertical Transmission by Tomi T Kanninen, et al.

Summary: Those pregnant can not be prescribed ribavirin and, although the risk is small (2%-10%), can pass HCV onto their babies. This article examines the possibility of  treating pregnant women to eliminate any chance of virus transmission, as recent literature has shown success for those with hep B, and states that more research in this should be collected.

Antibodies to an interfering epitope in hepatitis C virus E2 can mask vaccine-induced neutralizing activity by Alla Kachko, et al.

Summary: So far, a vaccine against HCV remains just a  goal. This article highlights one of the difficulties faced in developing a HCV vaccine and hypothesizes “…that the proximity of the two epitopes [epitopes 1 and 2] leads to physical interference among the antibodies. Epitopes selected for a vaccine should not be in close proximity.” (Dufour)

Summary: The research team compared cure rates of two hep C treatments, Sovaldi-based regimens and historical controls treated with pegylated interferon and ribavirin (PR), in those with mixed cryoglobulinemia syndrome (MCS). Conclusion: The Sovaldi-based regimens decreased the cryoglobulin levels in 89% of patients, 83% achieved SVR12 (cure). Only 10% of those treated with PR achieved SVR12 and 50% had to stop treatment due to side effects.

Liver International (December 2015)

CADTH (November 2015)

Press Releases by Pharmaceutical Companies (International)

*This post concentrated on literature published between November 18th and December 12th, 2015.