New Research Shows That Hepatitis C Treatment Time Could Be Shortened in 50% of Patients

Early results from a new study show that the length of treatment can be shortened in 50% of patients with hepatitis C without limiting the effectiveness. The study results were recently presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Hepatitis C treatment is expensive – and could be less with shortened treatment times

It is estimated that millions of people around the world have a chronic hepatitis C infection. If left untreated, hepatitis C can cause liver damage, liver failure, and liver cancer. Direct acting anti-viral (DAAs) medications can cure about 90% of patients, but the medications are very expensive. Not everyone can afford them. The treatment time is usually 12 weeks and costs more than $50,000 per patient. If the treatment time could be shortened, the cost of treatment would be lower.

Personalizing treatment time

The research study aimed to personalize treatment by using a new technique to determine how long each patient needed medication. After the patients received medication for a few weeks, the researchers measured how much of the hepatitis C virus was still in their blood. Using mathematical models, they estimated how long it would take to completely eliminate the virus.

So far, the study has included 22 patients. With the mathematical modeling, one patient was able to shorten their treatment time to 10 weeks. Eight patients had their treatment shortened to 8 weeks, and two patients were able to shorten their treatment time to 6 weeks. The other 11 patients needed treatment for the usual 12 weeks. After treatment, 21 of the total 22 patients remained free of the virus. Only one patient had a relapse, and that patient had the most difficult form of the virus to treat, genotype 3.

While the study is small, the results are promising. To confirm the results, a larger trial is underway in Israel. The study was supported in part by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

View References
Hepatitis C Treatment Can Be Shortened in 50 Percent of Patients, Study Finds. Newswise. Available at https://www.newswise.com/articles/view/703505/. Accessed 11/20/18.

Comments

View Comments (1)
  • Myofb1
    3 weeks ago

    Shortening the treatment time is great news. Find a positive way on how long to treat and this could save the patient and insurance companies a lot of money. I was treated and cured in just 8 weeks with Harvoni.

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