Hepatitis C InfoCenter

THIS PAGE contains links to a variety of Hepatitis C information and news. This information is updated regularly. For easier navigation, this section has been subdivided according to the links below.

New Additions

November 28, 2000: Dr. Frank Anderson, MD., FRCP(C) discusses hepatitis C: ”Side Effects”, ”Special Situations”, ”Special Symptoms and Their Management”, as well as ”Clinical Vignettes” in¬†Hepatitis Newsletters.

November 27, 2000: Chronic Viral Hepatitis in the United States and represents the 10th most common cause of death. For a very thorough analysis and discussion, check out this excellent paper by Norah Terrault, MD, MPH University of California.

November 9, 2000: Find out the latest on ”Acute Viral Hepatitis in the United States”, in this paper written by Dr. Miriam Alter, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Alter presented this at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases Conference, October 27-31, 2000.

November 6, 2000: For people with mild cases of hepatitis C, combination drug therapy appears not only to be more likely to prolong life and to prevent complications such as cirrhosis, but also to be more cost-effective than a strategy of “watchful waiting,” according to¬†new research.

November 1, 2000: In panel discussions, plenary sessions and poster presentations at the annual AASLD (American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases) meeting this week, Dr. Lawrence M. Blatt, Vice President of Research at Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and other scientists¬†presented information¬†from collaborative studies of the company’s anti-Hepatitis C ribozyme, HEPTAZYME.

October 2, 2000: A recent paper in the Lancet, reported that UK researchers have found that delivering at-risk babies by cesarean section may protect the infants from the hepatitis C virus.

Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced that it has repurchased its rights to Heptazyme(TM) from Eli Lilly and Company.

September 21, 2000: We have had many requests for an update on compensation issues. Here are The Ontario and the Alberta as well as the British Columbia Hepatitis C Assistance Plan Questions and Answers.

August 1, 2000: When it comes to Hepatitis C, ”Knowledge is Power”! The Canadian Association of Hepatology Nurses has produced a patient booklet discussing the facts about hepatitis C, what hepatitis C is – with important facts for patients to know, including an explanation of the phases of liver disease, tests that you may need to have done and more.

July 22, 2000: Want to learn more about the natural history of hepatitis C? What are the chances of hepatitis C progressing to cirrhosis or cancer? What do the different stages and grades of a liver biopsy mean? Find out in this paper written by Frank Anderson, M.D., FRCP(C) and his hepatitis team, Natalie Rock and Susan Campbell., Hepatitis C Progression, Pathology.

July 20, 2000: The risk that healthcare workers will become infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) following an accidental needlestick is 20 to 40 times greater than their risk of HIV infection, according to data presented at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Disease.

May 28, 2000: From the DDW 2000 Conference: The Role of Epidemiology in Predicting Response to Antiviral Therapy by John G. McHutchison, MD.

May 22, 2000: Study results were presented on Peginterferon Alfa-2b, a new hepatitis C therapy at the Digestive Disease Week meeting in San Diego.

May 11, 2000: Standardization opens the way to the widespread use of HCV RNA quantification to guide treatment for patients with chronic hepatitis C. Jean-Michel Pawlotsky, MD, PHD discusses The International Consensus Conference on Hepatitis C and their recent recommendation that hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA quantification be used to tailor the duration of combined interferon alfa and ribavirin therapy in patients infected by HCV genotypes 1, 4, and 5. This abstract was presented at the EASL 2000 Roche symposium.

May 9, 2000: Traditionally physicians have concerned themselves mainly with ”hard” clinical patient outcomes such as changes in laboratory indices and the impact of a disease on life expectancy. However, it has become increasingly apparent that these traditional markers of disease often do not parallel a patient’s feelings or perceptions concerning the disease. Lately, interest has focused on identifying how patients perceive their illness and quantifying its impact on their lives. Find out more about¬†HealthRelated Quality of Life in Viral Hepatitis, in this insightful paper written by Mark Swain MD, FRCPC.

April 27, 2000: In order to provide the Canadian medical community with the most up-to-date, judicious, evidence-based guidelines on the management of HCV, the Canadian Association for Study of the Liver (CASL) sponsored the 1999 Canadian Consensus Conference on the Management of Viral Hepatitis. In this edition of Hepatitis Update, Dr. Daniel Menard will present an all-too-common clinical scenario that will illustrate some of the broader guidelines and key recommendations concerning hepatitis C.

April 16, 2000: Patients who have not responded to treatment for their hepatitis C are a growing concern. Dr. Howard Worman summarizes a¬†recent paper¬†”Interleukin 10 treatment reduces fibrosis in patients with chronic hepatitis C” published in Gastroenterology.

April 15, 2000: Subjects infected with the hepatitis C virus may have dramatically different clinical courses. In the some cases, the disease progresses to fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis and even liver cancer. Dr. Worman reviews the Hepatology (31:828-833) paper discussing if ”Host genetic factors¬†influence disease progression in chronic hepatitis C”.

February 28, 2000: What is the impact of hepatitis C and treatment on life expectancy and quality of life? Can the cost-effectiveness of hepatitis C therapy to other well accepted medical interventions be compared? Dr. Jong Wong, from the New England Medical Center, and Tufts University School of Medicine, examines the Pharmacoeconomics of Combination Therapy for HCV.

February 27, 2000: At a recent conference, Dr. Patrick Marcellin, Professor, University of Paris, discusses Hepatitis C: Natural History and Treatment.

February 27, 2000: What are some of the future therapies for Hepatitis C? Dr. Paul Glue discusses¬†”Hepatitis C, Treatment Beyond 2000”.

February 4, 2000: Interferon therapy reduces the risk for hepatocellular carcinoma: Dr. Howard Worman reviews a recent paper examining a national surveillance program of cirrhotic and noncirrhotic patients with chronic hepatitis C in Japan.

December 25, 1999: Several studies have now confirmed that viral response to interferon (IFN) monotherapy usually persist if they are maintained for at least 6 months after treatment is stopped. How durable is the¬†6-month post-treatment¬†(“sustained”) virologic response to IFN or Rebetron in patients with chronic hepatitis C?

December 4, 1999: ”Hepatitis C: Optimizing Treatment”, a special¬†educational symposium¬†discussing interferon therapies in difficult to treat patients and hepatitis C disease progression. This event was sponsored by Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center and supported by an unrestricted educational grant from F.Hoffman-La Roche, Ltd. Specialists involved in this program included, Donald Jensen, MD, Russell Wiener, MD, Michael Fried, MD, Ferruccio Bonino, MD, and Jorge Rakela, MD.

September 6, 1999: Over the last 15 years there has been a dramatic improvement in the ability to treat chronic viral hepatitis, with interferon emerging as the mainstay of therapy for both hepatitis B and C infections. The future will bring the development of totally new therapeutic agents that may lead to novel strategies for the eradication of these two important viral pathogens. In this article, Dr. Linda Scully summarizes the data from pivotal trials in both hepatitis C and B, and also outlines the newer therapeutic agents currently under investigation.

September 5, 1999: Dr. Howard Worman reviews a recent paper from the New England Journal of Medicine, which finds the overall prevalence of anti-HCV antibodies in the United States was 1.8%, which would correspond to an estimated 3.9 million persons nationwide. Sixty-five percent of these were between the ages of 30 and 49 years old.

May 24, 1999: Find out more about the satellite symposium¬†”Hepatitis C: Dilemmas in Treatment”, sponsored by The Institute for Medical Studies, (supported by an unrestricted grant from F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Ltd) from the DDW (Digestive Disease Week) Conference held last week. Topics include ”Hepatitis C: Dilemmas in Treatment” by: Mitchell Shiffman, MD, ”Identifying the Sustained Responder” by: David Gretch, MD, ”Pharmacoeconomic and Ethical Concerns in Managing the Disease” by: Raymond Koff, MD, and ”Update on Treatment Options” by: Donald Jensen, MD.

April 24, 1999:¬†Dr. Thierry Poynard, is Professor of Medicine at the University of Paris VI, Hopital Pitie-Salpetriere in Paris, France, and Co-Director of the CNRS 1484 Research Unit. At the 1999 EASL conference, Dr. Poynard presented ”New Standard of Treatment for “Na√Įve” Patients” with hepatitis C.

April 24, 1999:¬†Dr. Patrice Couzigou, Head of the Hepatogastroenterology Department of Haut Leveque Hospital (Pessac-Bordeaux) and Professor of Medicine at the University Victor Segalen of Bordeaux in France, presented new data on: ”Results of Combination Interferon alfa-2b + Ribavirin Regimens vs. Interferon Monotherapy in Non-Responders” at the 1999 European Association of the Study of the Liver.

April 1, 1999:¬†Dr. Marion Peters¬†presentation on ”The Humoral and Cellular Immunology of Chronic Hepatitis B and C” at the 1999 Update in Liver Disease and Hepatitis was excellent and appreciated by all who attended.

February 28, 1999: Learning that you have hepatitis C can be confusing and frightening. While medical science has made a lot of progress in learning about hepatitis, doctors still have many questions about it, and you probably do too. Take some time and go through this 12 part special patient section and hopefully many of your questions and concerns will be addressed.

November 13, 1998: Little is known about the viral dynamics (production and clearance) of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and its response to antiviral therapy with interferon alpha. Recently a study ”Hepatitis C viral dynamics in vivo and the antiviral efficacy of interferon-alpha therapy” was published, and it’s¬†results are discussed here.

Frequently asked questions about Hepatitis C updated for 1998, by Vera Simon.

Epidemiology

Hepatitis B and C in the Chinese community is a very common problem. Dr. Florence Wong discusses the current issues and concerns.

June 16, 1998: Even before hepatitis C was positively identified, sexual transmission of non-A, non-B hepatitis was suspected. The importance of sexual transmission in the epidemiology of HCV infection is controversial.

June 9, 1998: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been shown to be associated with essential mixed cryoglobulinemia. Learn more in this case report from Dr. Linda Scully, MD, Associate Professor Department of Medicine University of Ottawa

What is the Epidemiology and natural history of the hepatitis C virus infection?

Can a colonoscopy be responsible for hepatitis C transmission? Patient-to-patient transmission of hepatitis C virus during colonoscopy. Review by Dr. Howard Worman.

How significant is hepatitis C infection in Canada? by M. Sherman, Hepatologist.

High risk Individuals РWho are they?

Unravelling the Mysteries of Hepatitis C by Dr. Averell Sherker, MD.

Natural History

April 2, 1999:¬†Dr. Thierry Poynard¬†discusses his views on the fact that the ”Current understanding of HCV infection has been advanced by the concept of liver fibrosis progression”.

April 2, 1999:¬†Dr. Gerald Minuk¬†discusses ”The Influence of Host Factors on the Outcome of HCV Infections”.

Dr. Howard Worman has reviewed a recent paper from Hepatology entitled Independent and combined action of hepatitis C virus infection and alcohol consumption on the risk of symptomatic liver cirrhosis.

Dr. Jay H. Hoofnagle, one of the top Hepatologists in the U.S. discusses¬†“Hepatitis C: The Clinical Spectrum of Disease”¬†as part of an NIH conference on Hepatitis C held on March 24, 1997.

Does your Genotype affect your treatment outcome? Hepatitis C response to IFN appears to be related to Genotype.

Feb. 1, 1997 Lack of correlation between hepatitis C virus genotypes and clinical course of hepatitis C virus-related cirrhosis. Summary by Dr. H. Worman.

The Consequences of Hepatitis C Viral Infections.Drs. Gerald Minuk, Nimer Assy.

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