Hepatitis Scotland AASLD e-Bulletin


Did you go to San Francisco?

Over 9,500 hepatologists and hepatology health professionals around the globe gathered in San Francisco between November 13-17 for the annual American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Liver Meeting. In this newsletter we have linked to various articles relating to liver diseases research and treatment outcomes presented during the event.

Hepatitis C transmitted without blood

Hepatitis C virus is present in large enough quantitiesin the rectal fluid of men with HIV and hepatitis C co-infection to allow the transmission of HCV without the presence of blood. The research challenges current assumptions that hepatitis C transmission during anal intercourse occurs only as a result of bleeding, or through transmission in semen.

Another German study highlighted the level of HCV that is present in faeces, which could suggest another potential route of HCV transmission.

Testing, testing, one, two, wee

Researchers from the University of California havedeveloped a cheap urine test for hepatitis C which appears to screen, detect and confirm virus presence more efficiently than current methods. The new test detects infection through a urine sample and could make testing much easier for patients to access, potentially significantly reducing human resources, time, and costs involved with testing.

Espresso yourself!

Researchers collecting data from over 1100 liver clinic patients at Monash Medical Centre over 18 months have found that drinking coffee reduced liver stiffness in patients with hepatitis C, hepatitis B and fatty liver.


An unrelated study also presented found that coffee intake may reduce the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) recurrence and improve survival following orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT).

Treatment news

A Chinese study (1394A, LB-23) has discovered that a very short regimen of direct-acting-antivirals can be highly effective in patients with HCV who show a rapid virological response (RVR) to the drugs. The findings suggest that it may be possible to cure patients within a period of three weeks. The shorter regimen could improve adherence, affordability and the accessibility of DAAs.

Findings from studies assessing the effectiveness of two different combinations of two experimental direct-acting antivirals developed by AbbVie have found very high sustained virologic response rates in non-cirrhotic patients.

A triple combination of Gilead Sciences, Inc.’s sofosbuvir/ledipasvir (Harvoni) plus the experimental HCV protease inhibitor vedroprevir cured 96% of treatment-experienced, genotype 1 hepatitis C patients with cirrhosis, without the need for ribavirin. A co-formulation of sofosbuvir and velpatasvir produced a sustained virological response in 99% of people with all HCV genotypes, and 95% of those with harder-to-treat genotype 3.

A majority of people with chronic hepatitis C and advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis showedimprovement in liver health following treatment.

The ALLY-3+ trial treated fifty patients with HCV GT3 with a combination of daclatasvir (Daklinza/Bristol-Myers-Squibb) sofosbuvir (Sovaldi/Gilead) and ribavirin (Rebetol/Merck). The results found that the combination therapy achieved high SVR4 rates in patients with HCV GT3 with compensated advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis.

People who have cirrhosis at the time they are cured of hepatitis C retain a risk of developing liver cancer and will require long-term monitoring, studies have shown.

Re-treating with an interferon-free regimen that previously failed to cure hepatitis C can result in success if treatment is intensified, according to results from two studies.


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