The International Conference on Viral Hepatitis was held in mid-April in Baltimore. The conference description was as follows:
There exist significant challenges to diagnosing and linking to treatment large numbers of hepatitis B virus (HBV)- and hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients who are unaware of their serostatus and thus are not on either anti-HBV or anti-HCV treatment. Additionally, bottlenecks preventing expanded access to HBV and HCV care must be addressed in light of shifting treatment paradigms, which requires an expanded number of clinicians from multiple disciplines to deliver HBV and HCV care.
Presentations will feature state-of-the-art information on HBV and HCV research, clinical perspectives, and medical treatment, both within the context of HBV and HCV monoinfection, as well as coinfection with HIV. The conference will feature 24 oral abstract presentations, poster sessions, plenary presentations, invited panel discussions, and clinical case study reviews.
A couple of findings from the conference that could interest parents of HCV+ kids include:
Forty percent of HCV+ patients are not adhering to their treatment. The key to this is identifying those patients who are depressed and treating the depression along with the disease. Those who were treated for their depression showed higher rates of adherence and, consequently, higher rates of viral suppression.
SPRINT-2 was a study of previously untreated HCV+ genotype 1 patients looking at boceprevir with peginterferon/ribavirin. In this study, this combination of drugs increased sustained virologic response significantly over standard therapy. Another study looked at patients who had been previously treated with standard therapy but either did not respond to treatment or relapsed. For those patients, boceprevir was added in re-treatment and significantly higher rates of sustained virologic response were achieved.
These studies were not performed on children, but we know that what works in the adult population will eventually find its way to the pediatric population.
Please read the conference PDF for more abstract findings.