Hepatitis C Challenge: Caring Ambassadors Hep C Program
 HepC Choices

Hepatitis News:

April 2007

Hepatitis C Remains Most Common Chronic Systemic Viral Infection in United States: Caring Ambassadors Program Urges Caution in Interpretation of CDC Report
OREGON CITY, OR -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 16, 2007 -- The Caring Ambassadors Hepatitis C Program issued a statement today urging policy-makers and private citizens not to be lulled into complacency regarding the ongoing hepatitis C crisis in the U.S. The nonprofit advocacy group's statement was a reaction to the report, "Surveillance for Acute Viral Hepatitis - United States, 2005," published today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)."

Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B Cases at Lowest Levels Ever Reported
The three most common forms of acute viral hepatitis in the United States -- hepatitis A, B and C -- declined dramatically between 1995 and 2005, with hepatitis A and B at the lowest levels ever recorded since the government began collecting surveillance data more than 40 years ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

TL Biopharma Says Phase I Study Of Hepatitis C Drug XTL-6865 Safe At High Doses - Update
Early Thursday, XTL Biopharmaceuticals Ltd. revealed the completion of the Phase I study with XTL-6865. The trail result demonstrated that XTL-6865 could be safely administered to patients at high doses of up to 1200mg for 5 consecutive daily doses and a single dose of 2400mg. The study also enabled the company to establish the pharmacokinetic properties of XTL-6865 in patients with chronic hepatitis C.

GPs Armed with New Hepatitis C Resource [UK]
29-Mar-07 The Department of Health's FaCe It campaign has launched this week a new guide for primary care professionals providing essential information on the virus. The Department of Health's FaCe It campaign has launched this week a new guide for primary care professionals providing essential information on the virus.

Roche Driving PROGRESS in Treatment of Hepatitis C
Roche today announced the start of a large, multinational trial to examine a new treatment strategy in hepatitis C patients with difficult-to-treat characteristics. This study will evaluate the effect of PEGASYSŪ (peginterferon alfa-2a) and ribavirin in patients who have a high level of genotype 1 virus in their blood (high viral load) and who are heavier than average in weight. The trial, known as PROGRESS (PEGASYS and Ribavirin Optimized in Genotype 1 high virRal load patiEntS to improve SVR), will examine the potential benefits of using a fixed dose induction (360 mcg) of PEGASYS for the first 12 weeks of therapy.

Education another weapon against hepatitis C: Celebrity carriers, including Pamela Anderson, help raise profile of disease
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -'Hi everyone. I am Leslie. I had hepatitis C. I was treated. I am cured,' shouts Leslie Benson, whirling a shawl around her shoulders and jumping to the front of the room. Twenty women lounging on sofas, kneeling on the floor and sitting on the staircase in the corner perk up, turning intently to stare at Benson. Some smile a bit. This matters deeply to these women, mostly parolees, finishing up sentences in a clean and sober living home.

Exchange programs help prevent AIDS, hepatitis C
We face many complex challenges, such as global warming, aging baby boomers, potential pandemics and the decreasing availability of oil. Coping with these issues will require intelligence, cooperation and an ability to challenge some of our established beliefs.

New York State Health Commissioner: Time to Stop 'Silent Epidemic'
Acting State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., announced a major conference on hepatitis C, a disease that has infected as many as 5 million Americans - nearly three times the number of individuals infected with HIV/AIDS. The Department will sponsor Hepatitis C - Breaking the Silence on the Epidemic on March 20 and 21 at the New York Academy of Medicine.

Hep C crisis threat to jails, outside: Curing prisoners is costly, but not curing them can be deadly
VACAVILLE - The most dangerous thing coming out of prison these days may be something most convicts don't even know they have: hepatitis C. Nobody knows how many inmates have the disease; by some estimates, around 40 percent of the 2.2 million in jail and prison are infected, compared with just 2 percent of the general population.

Tech tools can fight isle hepatitis: A support network envisions rural clinics that use telemedicine to combat the disease
Alan Tice wants to aggressively battle what has been known as a silent epidemic in Hawaii through the Internet. Working with the Hepatitis Support Network of Hawaii, Tice wants to open rural clinics for hepatitis treatment in Hawaii using telemedicine, visiting a patient through a Web camera and video screen with the help of a medical assistant. But first the state Legislature must approve the organization's request for a $244,000 grant over two years to launch the program.

PEGASYS(R) Gets European Approval for a Shorter Treatment Duration for Some Genotype 1 and 4 Hepatitis C Patients who Show a Rapid Response to Therapy
BASEL, Switzerland, March 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Shorter, Simplified Treatment Option May Encourage More Patients to Seek Treatment 
Some hepatitis C patients with difficult-to-treat HCV genotype 1who respond quickly to treatment with a combination of PEGASYS(R) (pegylated interferon alfa-2a (40KD)) plus COPEGUS(R) (ribavirin) can benefit from a shorter and simplified course of therapy, following Thursday's Commission decision. With the new approval, a subset of patients with genotypes 1 and 4HCV who achieve rapid viral response can now receive a shortened, 24-weekduration of treatment with Roche's PEGASYS plus COPEGUS.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Initiates Taribavirin Phase 2b Clinical Study
ALISO VIEJO, Calif.-- (BUSINESS WIRE) – Mar 14, 2007 - Valeant Pharmaceuticals today announced that it has begun enrolling patients in a Phase 2b clinical study for its antiviral compound, taribavirin, an oral nucleoside (guanosine) analog, for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C in conjunction with a pegylated interferon. The Phase 2b is a multi-center, randomized, parallel, open-label study in 260 treatment-naive, genotype 1 patients and will evaluate taribavirin at 20 mg/kg, 25 mg/kg, and 30 mg/kg per day in combination with pegylated interferon alfa-2b. There also will be a control group comprised of ribavirin (800/1,000/1,200/1,400 mg daily) and pegylated interferon alfa-2b.

Private Home Tattooing
Getting a tattoo from someone who is not inspected by Algoma Public Health is extremely dangerous and poses a significant health risk. Exposure to blood or body fluids can lead to several serious infections such as Hep B, Hep C and HIV. Remember, blood does not have to be present for an infection to occur. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that all personal service businesses follow proper procedures to minimize the risk of personal service workers and their clients from acquiring infectious diseases or personal injury.

Hep C Policies Failing as Drug Users Fall Ill [Australia]
Despite more than two decades of harm minimisation policies and the ready availability of free syringes, Australia's heroin addicts have some of the highest hepatitis C rates in the world and one-third of prisoners have the potentially deadly virus, according to two new studies. Sydney has outstripped London's alarming rates of infection, with a NSW research team warning that half of all new users contract the virus within three years and the "extremely high" numbers need the urgent attention of Australian policy makers.

Church Holds Program About HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C
PUNTA GORDA - Dr. David Klein had a message for the 40 or so people gathered at First Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church for the sixth annual HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C awareness luncheon. 'We can make this disease go away in one generation,' he said.

Help For Hep C
Nearly 4 million Americans are living with hepatitis C, and more than a quarter million of them have failed standard treatment options. Now, a newer, tougher drug is curing the virus in more people. For six years, Louise Overman has battled hepatitis C -- a virus that killed the only two people she ever knew who had it.

Inquiry into Sydney Hep C Outbreak [Australia]
An URGENT investigation is under way into how three women contracted hepatitis C and more than 120 others may have been exposed to the potentially deadly virus at an eastern suburbs GP clinic. It is believed the transmission of the virus was patient-to-patient, and the inquiry has centred on whether there was a breakdown in infection control when patients were receiving vitamin or mineral injections at the clinic.

Hep C Testing Beginning on Patients [Canada]
Testing for hepatitis C has begun on the patients of a P.E.I. surgeon who contracted the disease. Chief health officer Dr. Lamont Sweet told CBC News Thursday 230 people in total have been notified they should be tested. They have all been patients of Dr. David Ashby, who, after a routine exam in February, was confirmed to have hepatitis C.

Heavy Drinking Takes Excessive Toll on Women with Hepatitis C
Women tend to survive longer than men if infected with the liver-destroying hepatitis C virus (HCV) - but if they drink heavily, that survival advantage completely disappears, according to a new study. Previous studies indicated that alcohol use is a risk factor for HCV disease progression, but they seldom examined the effect on women and men separately," said lead author Chiung Chen. "Even fewer studies were able to examine the effect of alcohol on HCV mortality. Our study provides empirical evidence to fill the gap." Chen is a research analyst at CSR Incorporated, which conducted the study under contract with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Cheaper Hepatitis C drug on way 
London -- Researchers who have found a way to bypass the legal patent on an expensive drug say others should follow suit. 

According to a BBC report, Imperial College experts have developed a potentially cheaper version of an existing Hepatitis C drug by altering the molecular structure. 

They have also called on other universities and charities to retain the rights to new discoveries, rather than sell them to big drugs companies.

75 Percent of College Students Report Risk Factors for Hepatitis C
College undergraduates in the United States do not recognize the magnitude of their risk behaviors for contracting Hepatitis C, according to a survey conducted at a large Midwestern university.

New hope for Hepatitis C research
The mystery surrounding Hepatitis C, a disease that affects millions of people worldwide, is one step closer to being solved.

Hepatitis C-related liver cancer mortality on the rise: report
The mortality rate of hepatitis C-related liver cancer has been rising in Taiwan, particularly in the southern counties of Yunlin, Jiayi and Tainan, according to a study report released Saturday.


clinical trials, cohort studies, and pilot studies

Accidental exposure to HCV antibody-positive blood in hospital and pre-emptive one-shot interferon alpha-2b treatment. Nukaya H, et al. Hepatol Res. 2007 Mar;37(3):179-85.

Rapid induction of virus-neutralizing antibodies and viral clearance in a single-source outbreak of hepatitis C. Pestka JM, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Mar 28; [Epub ahead of print]

Musculoskeletal Complaints and Serum Autoantibodies Associated with Chronic Hepatitis C and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Banks SE, et al. Dig Dis Sci. 2007 Mar 27; [Epub ahead of print]

Interferon alfa (pegylated and non-pegylated) and ribavirin for the treatment of mild chronic hepatitis C: a systematic review and economic evaluation. Shepherd J, et al. Health Technol Assess. 2007 Mar;11(11):1-224.

Excess mortality rates in a cohort of patients infected with the hepatitis C virus: a prospective study. Neal K, Irving WL. Gut. 2007 Mar 7; [Epub ahead of print]

Sustained virological response to interferon-alpha is associated with improved outcome in HCV-related cirrhosis: a retrospective study. Bruno S, et al. Hepatology. 2007 Mar;45(3):579-87.

Subthreshold mania as predictor of depression during interferon treatment in HCV(+) patients without current or lifetime psychiatric disorders. Dell'osso L, et al. J Psychosom Res. 2007 Mar;62(3):349-55.

Long-Term Treatment with the Combination of Amantadine and Ribavirin in Hepatitis C Nonresponders. A Case Series. Riley TR 3rd, Taheri MR. Dig Dis Sci. 2007 Mar 31; [Epub ahead of print]

Hepatic steatosis in genotype 4 chronic hepatitis C is mainly because of metabolic factors. Tsochatzis E, et al. Am J Gastroenterol. 2007 Mar;102(3):634-41.patic steatosis in genotype 4 is mostly associated with metabolic factors, similar to those in genotype 1.

Clearance of HCV improves insulin resistance, beta-cell function, and hepatic expression of insulin receptor substrate 1 and 2. Kawaguchi T, et al. Am J Gastroenterol. 2007 Mar;102(3):570-6. 

Compensated hepatitis C: unenhanced MR imaging correlated with pathologic grading and staging. Mitchell DG, et al. Abdom Imaging. 2007 Mar 27; [Epub ahead of print]

Progression of fibrosis in advanced chronic hepatitis C: Evaluation by morphometric image analysis. Goodman ZD et al. Hepatology. 2007 Mar 28;45(4):886-894

Screening for Hepatocellular Carcinoma Among Veterans With Hepatitis C on Disease Stage, Treatment Received, and Survival. Leykum LK, et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2007 Mar 21; [Epub ahead of print]

Post-load insulin resistance is an independent predictor of hepatic fibrosis in Virus C Chronic Hepatitis and in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Svegliati-Baroni G, et al. Gut. 2007 Mar 28 [Epub ahead of print].

Final results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of the antifibrotic efficacy of interferon-gamma1b in chronic hepatitis C patients with advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis. Pockros PJ et al. Hepatology. 2007:Mar;45(3):569-78

Sustained virological response to interferon-alpha is associated with improved outcome in HCV-related cirrhosis: a retrospective study. Bruno S, et al. Hepatology. 2007 Mar;45(3):579-87

The Effect of Multiple Doses of Peginterferon alfa-2b on the Steady-State Pharmacokinetics of Methadone in Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C Undergoing Methadone Maintenance Therapy. Gupta SK, et al. J Clin Pharmacol. 2007 Mar 30; [Epub ahead of print]

The natural history of hepatitis C with severe hepatic fibrosis. Lawson A, et al. J Hepatol. 2007 Mar 7; [Epub ahead of print]

Does the clinical outcome of hepatitis C infection vary with the infecting hepatitis C virus type? Harris HE, et al. J Viral Hepat. 2007 Mar;14(3):213-20.

Effect of iron depletion on serum markers of fibrogenesis, oxidative stress and serum liver enzymes in chronic hepatitis C: results of a pilot study. Alexander J, et al. Liver Int. 2007 Mar;27(2):268-73.

Development of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with chronic hepatitis C who had a sustained virological response to interferon therapy: a multicenter, retrospective cohort study of 1124 patients. Kobayashi S, et al. Liver Int. 2007 Mar;27(2):186-91.


basic and applied science, pre-clinical studies

CD4+ T Cell Responses in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C Undergoing Peginterferon/Ribavirin Therapy Correlate with Faster, but Not Sustained, Viral Clearance. Aberle JH, et al. J Infect Dis. 2007 May 1;195(9):1315-9. Epub 2007 Mar 21.

GSTT1 and GSTM1 Null Genotypes May Facilitate Hepatitis C Virus Infection Becoming Chronic. Martinez C, et al. J Infect Dis. 2007 May 1;195(9):1320-3. Epub 2007 Mar 15.

Activation of the ER stress gene gadd153 by hepatitis C virus sensitizes cells to oxidant injury. Ciccaglione AR, et al. Virus Res. 2007 Mar 17; [Epub ahead of print]

Expression of the subgenomic hepatitis C virus replicon alters iron homeostasis in Huh7 cells. Fillebeen C, et al. J Hepatol. 2007 Mar 2; [Epub ahead of print]

Structural evidence for regulation and specificity of flaviviral proteases and evolution of the Flaviviridae fold. Aleshin AE, et al. Protein Sci. 2007 Mar 30; [Epub ahead of print]

Role of matrix metalloproteinases, proinflammatory cytokines, and oxidative stress-derived molecules in hepatitis C virus-associated mixed cryoglobulinemia vasculitis neuropathy. Saadoun D et al. Arthritis Rheum. 2007 Mar 28;56(4):1315-1324

Dysfunction and functional restoration of HCV-specific CD8 responses in chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Penna A, et al. Hepatology. 2007 Mar;45(3):588-601

Vaccine-induced early control of hepatitis C virus infection in chimpanzees fails to impact on hepatic PD-1 and chronicity. Rollier CS, et al. Hepatology. 2007 Mar;45(3):602-13

Impact of aboriginal ethnicity on HCV core-induced IL-10 synthesis: interaction with IL-10 gene polymorphisms. Aborsangaya KB, et al. Hepatology. 2007 Mar;45(3):623-30

Hepatitis C virus production by human hepatocytes dependent on assembly and secretion of very low-density lipoproteins. Huang H, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Mar 21; [Epub ahead of print]


hiv/hcv co-infection

Impact of maternal HIV coinfection on the vertical transmission of hepatitis C virus: a meta-analysis. Polis CB, et al. Clin Infect Dis. 2007 Apr 15;44(8):1123-31. Epub 2007 Mar 7.

Liver-related mortality in human-immunodeficiency-virus-infected patients between 1995 and 2003 in the French GERMIVIC Joint Study Group Network (MORTAVIC 2003 Study). Rosenthal E, et al. J Viral Hepat. 2007 Mar;14(3):183-8.

Impact of Hepatitis C on HIV Progression in Adults With Alcohol Problems. Cheng DM, et al. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2007 Mar 31; [Epub ahead of print]

Hepatitis C virus infection is associated with insulin resistance among older adults with or at risk of HIV infection. Howard AA, et al. AIDS. 2007 Mar 12;21(5):633-41.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) specific CD8+ cells produce TGF-beta that can suppress HCV-specific T cell responses. Alatrakchi N, et al. J Virol. 2007 Mar 21; [Epub ahead of print]

Rapid and early virological response to chronic Hepatitis C treatment with IFN alpha-2b or PEG- IFN alpha-2b plus ribavirin in HIV/HCV co-infected patients. Payan C, et al. Gut. 2007 Mar 22; [Epub ahead of print]

Cost-effectiveness of treatment for hepatitis C in an urban cohort co-infected with HIV. Campos NG, et al. Am J Med. 2007 Mar;120(3):272-9.


complimentary and alternative therapies

The chemical composition and biological activity of clove essential oil, Eugenia caryophyllata (Syzigium aromaticum L. Myrtaceae): a short review. Chaieb K, et al. Phytother Res. 2007 Mar 23; [Epub ahead of print]

Viusid, a nutritional supplement, in combination with interferon alpha-2b and ribavirin in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Vilar Gomez E, et al. Liver Int. 2007 Mar;27(2):247-59.


miscellaneous works

Reasons Why Patients Infected with Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Choose to Defer Treatment: Do They Alter Their Decision with Time? Khokhar OS, Lewis JH. Dig Dis Sci. 2007 Mar 15; [Epub ahead of print]

Multilevel modeling of intra-household spread of hepatitis C virus infection, Karachi, Pakistan. Akhtar S, Moatter T. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2007 Mar;76(3):446-9.

The effects of HCV infection and management on health-related quality of life. Younossi Z, et al. Hepatology. 2007 Mar;45(3):806-16

Distributive syringe sharing among young adult injection drug users in five U.S. cities. Golub ET, et al. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2007 Mar 28; [Epub ahead of print] 

Offers of Hepatitis C Care Do Not Lead to Treatment. Schackman BR, et al. J Urban Health. 2007 Mar 30; [Epub ahead of print]

Reconstruction of the Hepatitis C Virus Epidemic in the US Hemophilia Population, 1940-1990. Goedert JJ, et al. Am J Epidemiol. 2007 Mar 22; [Epub ahead of print]

Evaluation of a pharmacist-managed hepatitis C care clinic. Smith JP, et al. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2007 Mar 15;64(6):632-6.

Assessment of FIBROSpect II to detect hepatic fibrosis in chronic hepatitis C patients. Zaman A, et al. Am J Med. 2007 Mar;120(3):280.e9-14.

Hepatitis C management by addiction medicine physicians: Results from a national survey. Litwin AH, et al. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2007 Mar 20; [Epub ahead of print]

Impact of pharmaceutical industry versus university sponsorship on survey response: A randomized trial among Canadian hepatitis C care providers. Myers RP, et al. Can J Gastroenterol. 2007 Mar;21(3):169-75.

A population-based prevalence study of hepatitis A, B and C virus using oral fluid in Flanders, Belgium. Quoilin S, et al. Eur J Epidemiol. 2007;22(3):195-202. Epub 2007 Mar 14.

Trends in Hepatitis B Virus, Hepatitis C Virus, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Prevalence, Risk Behaviors, and Preventive Measures among Seattle Injection Drug Users Aged 18-30 Years, 1994-2004. Burt RD, et al. J Urban Health. 2007 Mar 14; [Epub ahead of print]

Variability of the area under the receiver operating characteristic curves in the diagnostic evaluation of liver fibrosis markers: impact of biopsy length and fragmentation. Poynard T, et a l. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Mar 15;25(6):733-9.

Chronic illness experiences, clinical markers and living with hepatitis C. Sutton R, Treloar C. J Health Psychol. 2007 Mar;12(2):330-40.

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Hepatitis C is the most common, chronic blood-borne
viral infection in the U.S.