Top Hepatology stories of 2014

Numerous developments were made in the field of hepatology this year, including orphan drug designation by the FDA for a hepatocellular carcinoma drug, as well as new, groundbreaking data on liver transplantation, cirrhosis and drug-induced liver injury, presented at the biggest hepatology conferences. Using web analytics, social media and expert opinion, Healio.com/Hepatology has compiled a list of some of the most important, relevant research and news in hepatology presented during the past year. For the top HCV stories, see this article.

FDA warns against products with more than 325 mg acetaminophen

Physicians should stop dispensing or prescribing drug products with more than 325 mg of acetaminophen per dosage unit due to the potential for severe liver damage or death, the FDA recommended. Read more

NASH expected to top indications for liver transplantation in HCC patients

Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis is the most rapidly progressing indication for liver transplantation among patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, a recent study determined.

“The increasing prevalence of obesity and obesity-related diseases is a major public health concern, and NASH will soon become the leading indication for LT and the leading etiology of HCC in the US,” researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine, division of gastroenterology and hepatology, reported. Read more

Researchers test bioartificial liver as possible aid for acute liver failure

Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center have begun testing the safety and efficacy of a bioartificial liver system as a potential treatment for alcohol-related liver disease.

Steven D. Colquhoun

“The quest for a device that can fill in for the function of the liver, at least temporarily, has been under way for decades,” researcher Steven D. Colquhoun, MD, surgical director of liver transplantation at Cedars-Sinai’s Comprehensive Transplant Center, said in the release. “A bioartificial liver, also known as a BAL, could potentially sustain patients with acute liver failure until their own livers self-repair.” Read more

OPTN/UNOS to hold public forum on liver donor distribution

The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network and United Network for Organ Sharing Liver and Intestinal Organ Transplantation Committee will host a public forum on Sept. 16 in Chicago to discuss current liver distribution issues, including the committee’s controversial concept paper distributed in June.

The paper, available on the organization’s website, suggests strategies to close the gap between “geographic disparities” and create ways for all candidates to have better access to liver transplantation. Read more

Outcomes for living donor, deceased donor liver transplantation comparable at experienced centers

BOSTON — When performed at experienced centers, outcomes for living donor liver transplantation are equivalent, and possibly superior, to deceased donor liver transplantation, researchers reported at The Liver Meeting.

David Goldberg

David S. Goldberg

“Over time, there has been enhanced appreciation of the technical aspects, perioperative management, and donor and recipient qualities for successful living donor liver transplantation,” David S. Goldberg, MD, from the division of gastroenterology, Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania, said during a plenary presentation. Read more

Antimicrobials, herbal and dietary supplements common causes of idiosyncratic DILI

PHILADELPHIA — Antimicrobials and herbal and dietary supplements are the most common causes of idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury, or DILI, according to data presented at the ACG Annual Scientific Meeting.

Naga P. Chalasani

“Idiosyncratic DILI accounts for up to 12% of acute liver failure cases in the United States,” Naga P. Chalasani, MD, a professor of cellular and integrative physiology at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Bloomington, said during his plenary session presentation. “The aim of this particular presentation is to report the characteristics and selected subgroup analyses of the first 1,257 patients enrolled in the DILI prospective study.” Read more

Ultrasound, FibroScan detected liver changes in NAFLD, NASH

Contrast-enhanced ultrasound and FibroScan could potentially be used to measure and monitor any changes in the liver in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

“CEUS evaluated by Qontrast might be able to quantify functional vascular liver changes not otherwise detectable with any other noninvasive procedure and before the development of fibrosis,” the researchers concluded. “The combined use of FibroScan and Qontrast-assisted CEUS could be helpful in assessing the level of disease and could be potentially useful for monitoring the effects of therapeutic interventions.” Read more

EncephalApp accurately diagnosed covert HE among cirrhotic patients

The EncephalApp, a smartphone application, showed good face and external validity and test-retest reliability when measuring for covert hepatic encephalopathy among cirrhotic patients.

Jasmohan Bajaj

Jasmohan S. Bajaj

“This app encourages point-of-care testing to select patients who are likely to have covert hepatic encephalopathy and importantly excludes those who do not need further evaluation,” Jasmohan S. Bajaj, MD, division of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition, Virginia Commonwealth University and McGuire VA Medical Center, told Healio.com/Hepatology. “It can be translated into practice by clinic assistants, nurses or other non-MD professionals to add a cost-effective approach for covert HE diagnosis and could potentially increase treatment for this epidemic.” Read more

Hepatologists ‘need to embrace’ living donor liver transplantation, expert says

BOSTON — In the Thomas E. Starzl Transplant Surgery State-of-the-Art Lecture presented at The Liver Meeting, Jean C. Emond, MD, vice chair and chief of liver transplantation at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, discussed the current challenges faced in the acceptance of living donor liver transplantation. These include donor risks, concerns about patient variances and, perhaps, most importantly, the infrequency of clinician acceptance. Read more

Bariatric surgery recommended for severely obese patients with NAFLD

CHICAGO — Bariatric surgery improved overall status of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease among patients with obesity and showed a potential reversal of early-stage fibrosis, according to new data presented at Digestive Disease Week.

“Our data provided objective evidence that bariatric surgery improves the liver histology in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease,” Andrew A. Taitano, MD, general surgeon and instructor at the Albany Medical College, said at the conference. According to the presentation, with fibrosis resolved or improved in over half of patients, “Bariatric surgery should be considered one of the treatments for NAFLD in patients with severe obesity.” Read more

FDA grants fast track designation to aramchol for NASH

The FDA granted fast track designation to Galmed Pharmaceutical’s aramchol, a potential oral therapy to treat nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.

“The fast track designation of aramchol will allow for continued contact between Galmed and the FDA to optimally design aramchol’s future studies, including clinical trials in the United States, and may enable Galmed to accelerate its development, FDA approval and the time to market,” Allen Baharaff, chief executive officer of Galmed, said. Read more

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease increased cardiovascular disease risk

LONDON — Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease contributed to increased cardiovascular risk factors, according to data from two studies presented at the International Liver Congress.

Dufour

Jean-Francois Dufour

“We now have a strong body of evidence that NAFLD may pose a CVD risk above and beyond that conferred by traditional CVD risk factors, such as dyslipidemia, diabetes and smoking,” Jean-Francois Dufour, MD, education counselor, European Association for the Study of the Liver, and professor at the University Clinic for Visceral Surgery and Medicine, University of Bern Switzerland, said in the release. “This means that health care providers managing patients with NAFLD should take this factor into account in the CVD risk stratification, although the best way to implement this remains to be defined.” Read more

Scoring system accurately predicted mortality among cirrhosis patients

Researchers focusing on nine specific comorbidities have developed a scoring system that can predict death or survival of cirrhosis patients with strong accuracy.

“Comorbidity is prevalent and strongly affects the mortality of cirrhosis patients. It must therefore be described, quantified and controlled for in epidemiologic studies of cirrhosis patients,” the researchers wrote. “The CirCom [cirrhosis-specific comorbidity] score … is developed specifically for these tasks. It had higher [Harrell’s] C statistic and NRI [Net Reclassification Index] values than the Charlson Comorbidity Index [CCI] and is easier to use.” Read more

NASH, liver disease prevalent in patients with HIV-associated NAFLD

Patients with HIV-associated nonalcoholic fatty liver disease had more severe rates of liver disease and a higher prevalence of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis compared with patients with primary nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Rohit Loomba

“The study showed that the rates of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis are significantly increased in patients with HIV than the general population,” researcher Rohit Loomba, MD, MHSc, of the division of gastroenterology and epidemiology, University of California, San Diego, said. “Therefore, treatment strategies need to be explored in this subset of patients with NAFLD.” Read more

Hemiliver grafts produced successful outcomes, survival in split liver transplantations

Split liver transplantation yielded strong survival rates for at least 5 years.

Koji Hashimoto

Koji Hashimoto

“The split liver procedure helps with the shortage of organs — we can help two patients with one donor,” Koji Hashimoto, MD, PhD, department of general surgery, Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic, told Healio.com/Hepatology. “The smaller recipients on the transplant waiting list can be saved with a split liver as the split liver can be a better size match for a smaller recipient. Read more

Global market for NASH expected to increase substantially by 2020

The global nonalcoholic steatohepatitis market is expected to generate nearly $1.7 billion by 2020, according to a report from Allied Market Research. The report said novel biomarker technologies and improvements in liver biopsy research and clinical trials are emerging that will play a significant role in the increased probability of industries receiving commercial approval for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) therapies by the end of 2017. Read more

HCC inhibitor receives FDA orphan drug designation

Casi Pharmaceuticals has received an orphan drug designation from the FDA for ENMD-2076 to treat hepatocellular carcinoma.

ENMD-2076 currently is being used in phase 2 clinical trials to treat ovarian cancer, advanced/metastatic soft tissue sarcoma and advanced ovarian clear cell carcinomas, as well as a study for triple-negative breast cancer. Read more

FDA: Bodybuilding supplement linked to liver failure

The FDA is working to identify the manufacturer of Mass Destruction, a dietary supplement that appears to be linked to the liver failure and ensuing transplant of a previously healthy 28-year-old man.

“Products marketed as supplements that contain anabolic steroids pose a real danger to consumers,” Howard Sklamberg, JD, director of the Office of Compliance in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in the release. “The FDA is committed to ensuring that products marketed as dietary supplements and vitamins do not pose harm to consumers.” Read more

Adoptive T-cell immunotherapy may treat hepatocellular carcinoma

LONDON — Hepatocellular carcinoma may be treated using adoptive T-cell therapy, according to data from a study presented at the International Liver Congress.

“Liver transplant is an option for only 10% to 15% of HCC carriers diagnosed at an early stage, and therefore the importance of other treatment options for patients is critical,” researchers said in the release. “This is a treatment gap that adoptive T-cell therapy could potentially fill.” Read more

Metformin use increased survival rate in patients with cirrhosis, diabetes

Patients with diabetes who continued metformin use after diagnosis of cirrhosis had a better survival rate compared with those who discontinued it.

Lewis R. Roberts

Lewis R. Roberts

“The current practice of many physicians is to switch diabetic patients who are on metformin from metformin to other drugs such as insulin when the diagnosis of cirrhosis is made, due to concerns about side effects, particularly metabolic acidosis," researcher Lewis R. Roberts, MB, ChB, PhD, division of gastroenterology and hepatology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., told Healio.com/Hepatology. "Our study suggests that most patients with cirrhosis are at low risk of metabolic acidosis from metformin and, further, that metformin use may have a positive effect of prolonging the lives of diabetic patients with cirrhosis. If this finding is reproduced, it may lead to a change in current medical practice.” Read more

Cyramza fails to meet primary endpoint in hepatocellular carcinoma

Results from the phase 3 REACH trial have found that ramucirumab did not meet its primary endpoint of overall survival when used as a second-line treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma.

The REACH trial was a randomized, double-blind trial of 565 patients with a Child-Pugh score <7. Researchers compared ramucirumab (Cyramza) plus supportive care with placebo plus supportive care as second-line therapy in patients who had undergone first-line treatment with sorafenib (Nexavar, Bayer). Read more

Socioeconomic status affected post-liver transplant survival rates

The post-liver transplantation survival rate was better in recipients with a higher socioeconomic status vs. those with a lower socioeconomic status.

“This study is important because we need to identify what resources these patients need for success after liver transplant since it is such a scarce commodity with the organ shortage,” researcher Shimul A. Shah, MD, MHCM, director of liver transplantation and hepatobiliary surgery at the University of Cincinnati, told Healio.com/Hepatology. “How can transplant centers, providers and even the community help these patients with the issues they may face, either as they enter the system or when they leave?” Read more

Nexavar failed to improve recurrence-free survival in HCC patients

Hepatocellular carcinoma patients without detectable disease after resection or ablation experienced no improvement in recurrence-free survival after being assigned sorafenib tablets in an investigational trial. Read more

Idiopathic portal hypertension patients with variceal bleeding, HIV at greater risk for PVT

Idiopathic portal hypertension patients who experienced variceal bleeding or were HIV-infected had an increased risk for portal vein thrombosis.

“The present study shows that PVT is a frequent complication, exceptionally in a subgroup of IPH associated with HIV infection,” the researchers wrote. “We propose that IPH should be categorized based on the difference in the incidence of complications and prognosis.” Read more

Numerous developments were made in the field of hepatology this year, including orphan drug designation by the FDA for a hepatocellular carcinoma drug, as well as new, groundbreaking data on liver transplantation, cirrhosis and drug-induced liver injury, presented at the biggest hepatology conferences. Using web analytics, social media and expert opinion, Healio.com/Hepatology has compiled a list of some of the most important, relevant research and news in hepatology presented during the past year. For the top HCV stories, see this article.

FDA warns against products with more than 325 mg acetaminophen

Physicians should stop dispensing or prescribing drug products with more than 325 mg of acetaminophen per dosage unit due to the potential for severe liver damage or death, the FDA recommended. Read more

NASH expected to top indications for liver transplantation in HCC patients

Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis is the most rapidly progressing indication for liver transplantation among patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, a recent study determined.

“The increasing prevalence of obesity and obesity-related diseases is a major public health concern, and NASH will soon become the leading indication for LT and the leading etiology of HCC in the US,” researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine, division of gastroenterology and hepatology, reported. Read more

Researchers test bioartificial liver as possible aid for acute liver failure

Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center have begun testing the safety and efficacy of a bioartificial liver system as a potential treatment for alcohol-related liver disease.

Steven D. Colquhoun

“The quest for a device that can fill in for the function of the liver, at least temporarily, has been under way for decades,” researcher Steven D. Colquhoun, MD, surgical director of liver transplantation at Cedars-Sinai’s Comprehensive Transplant Center, said in the release. “A bioartificial liver, also known as a BAL, could potentially sustain patients with acute liver failure until their own livers self-repair.” Read more

OPTN/UNOS to hold public forum on liver donor distribution

The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network and United Network for Organ Sharing Liver and Intestinal Organ Transplantation Committee will host a public forum on Sept. 16 in Chicago to discuss current liver distribution issues, including the committee’s controversial concept paper distributed in June.

The paper, available on the organization’s website, suggests strategies to close the gap between “geographic disparities” and create ways for all candidates to have better access to liver transplantation. Read more

Outcomes for living donor, deceased donor liver transplantation comparable at experienced centers

BOSTON — When performed at experienced centers, outcomes for living donor liver transplantation are equivalent, and possibly superior, to deceased donor liver transplantation, researchers reported at The Liver Meeting.

David Goldberg

David S. Goldberg

“Over time, there has been enhanced appreciation of the technical aspects, perioperative management, and donor and recipient qualities for successful living donor liver transplantation,” David S. Goldberg, MD, from the division of gastroenterology, Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania, said during a plenary presentation. Read more

Antimicrobials, herbal and dietary supplements common causes of idiosyncratic DILI

PHILADELPHIA — Antimicrobials and herbal and dietary supplements are the most common causes of idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury, or DILI, according to data presented at the ACG Annual Scientific Meeting.

Naga P. Chalasani

“Idiosyncratic DILI accounts for up to 12% of acute liver failure cases in the United States,” Naga P. Chalasani, MD, a professor of cellular and integrative physiology at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Bloomington, said during his plenary session presentation. “The aim of this particular presentation is to report the characteristics and selected subgroup analyses of the first 1,257 patients enrolled in the DILI prospective study.” Read more

PAGE BREAK

Ultrasound, FibroScan detected liver changes in NAFLD, NASH

Contrast-enhanced ultrasound and FibroScan could potentially be used to measure and monitor any changes in the liver in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

“CEUS evaluated by Qontrast might be able to quantify functional vascular liver changes not otherwise detectable with any other noninvasive procedure and before the development of fibrosis,” the researchers concluded. “The combined use of FibroScan and Qontrast-assisted CEUS could be helpful in assessing the level of disease and could be potentially useful for monitoring the effects of therapeutic interventions.” Read more

EncephalApp accurately diagnosed covert HE among cirrhotic patients

The EncephalApp, a smartphone application, showed good face and external validity and test-retest reliability when measuring for covert hepatic encephalopathy among cirrhotic patients.

Jasmohan Bajaj

Jasmohan S. Bajaj

“This app encourages point-of-care testing to select patients who are likely to have covert hepatic encephalopathy and importantly excludes those who do not need further evaluation,” Jasmohan S. Bajaj, MD, division of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition, Virginia Commonwealth University and McGuire VA Medical Center, told Healio.com/Hepatology. “It can be translated into practice by clinic assistants, nurses or other non-MD professionals to add a cost-effective approach for covert HE diagnosis and could potentially increase treatment for this epidemic.” Read more

Hepatologists ‘need to embrace’ living donor liver transplantation, expert says

BOSTON — In the Thomas E. Starzl Transplant Surgery State-of-the-Art Lecture presented at The Liver Meeting, Jean C. Emond, MD, vice chair and chief of liver transplantation at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, discussed the current challenges faced in the acceptance of living donor liver transplantation. These include donor risks, concerns about patient variances and, perhaps, most importantly, the infrequency of clinician acceptance. Read more

Bariatric surgery recommended for severely obese patients with NAFLD

CHICAGO — Bariatric surgery improved overall status of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease among patients with obesity and showed a potential reversal of early-stage fibrosis, according to new data presented at Digestive Disease Week.

“Our data provided objective evidence that bariatric surgery improves the liver histology in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease,” Andrew A. Taitano, MD, general surgeon and instructor at the Albany Medical College, said at the conference. According to the presentation, with fibrosis resolved or improved in over half of patients, “Bariatric surgery should be considered one of the treatments for NAFLD in patients with severe obesity.” Read more

FDA grants fast track designation to aramchol for NASH

The FDA granted fast track designation to Galmed Pharmaceutical’s aramchol, a potential oral therapy to treat nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.

“The fast track designation of aramchol will allow for continued contact between Galmed and the FDA to optimally design aramchol’s future studies, including clinical trials in the United States, and may enable Galmed to accelerate its development, FDA approval and the time to market,” Allen Baharaff, chief executive officer of Galmed, said. Read more

PAGE BREAK

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease increased cardiovascular disease risk

LONDON — Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease contributed to increased cardiovascular risk factors, according to data from two studies presented at the International Liver Congress.

Dufour

Jean-Francois Dufour

“We now have a strong body of evidence that NAFLD may pose a CVD risk above and beyond that conferred by traditional CVD risk factors, such as dyslipidemia, diabetes and smoking,” Jean-Francois Dufour, MD, education counselor, European Association for the Study of the Liver, and professor at the University Clinic for Visceral Surgery and Medicine, University of Bern Switzerland, said in the release. “This means that health care providers managing patients with NAFLD should take this factor into account in the CVD risk stratification, although the best way to implement this remains to be defined.” Read more

Scoring system accurately predicted mortality among cirrhosis patients

Researchers focusing on nine specific comorbidities have developed a scoring system that can predict death or survival of cirrhosis patients with strong accuracy.

“Comorbidity is prevalent and strongly affects the mortality of cirrhosis patients. It must therefore be described, quantified and controlled for in epidemiologic studies of cirrhosis patients,” the researchers wrote. “The CirCom [cirrhosis-specific comorbidity] score … is developed specifically for these tasks. It had higher [Harrell’s] C statistic and NRI [Net Reclassification Index] values than the Charlson Comorbidity Index [CCI] and is easier to use.” Read more

NASH, liver disease prevalent in patients with HIV-associated NAFLD

Patients with HIV-associated nonalcoholic fatty liver disease had more severe rates of liver disease and a higher prevalence of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis compared with patients with primary nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Rohit Loomba

“The study showed that the rates of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis are significantly increased in patients with HIV than the general population,” researcher Rohit Loomba, MD, MHSc, of the division of gastroenterology and epidemiology, University of California, San Diego, said. “Therefore, treatment strategies need to be explored in this subset of patients with NAFLD.” Read more

Hemiliver grafts produced successful outcomes, survival in split liver transplantations

Split liver transplantation yielded strong survival rates for at least 5 years.

Koji Hashimoto

Koji Hashimoto

“The split liver procedure helps with the shortage of organs — we can help two patients with one donor,” Koji Hashimoto, MD, PhD, department of general surgery, Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic, told Healio.com/Hepatology. “The smaller recipients on the transplant waiting list can be saved with a split liver as the split liver can be a better size match for a smaller recipient. Read more

Global market for NASH expected to increase substantially by 2020

The global nonalcoholic steatohepatitis market is expected to generate nearly $1.7 billion by 2020, according to a report from Allied Market Research. The report said novel biomarker technologies and improvements in liver biopsy research and clinical trials are emerging that will play a significant role in the increased probability of industries receiving commercial approval for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) therapies by the end of 2017. Read more

HCC inhibitor receives FDA orphan drug designation

Casi Pharmaceuticals has received an orphan drug designation from the FDA for ENMD-2076 to treat hepatocellular carcinoma.

ENMD-2076 currently is being used in phase 2 clinical trials to treat ovarian cancer, advanced/metastatic soft tissue sarcoma and advanced ovarian clear cell carcinomas, as well as a study for triple-negative breast cancer. Read more

FDA: Bodybuilding supplement linked to liver failure

The FDA is working to identify the manufacturer of Mass Destruction, a dietary supplement that appears to be linked to the liver failure and ensuing transplant of a previously healthy 28-year-old man.

“Products marketed as supplements that contain anabolic steroids pose a real danger to consumers,” Howard Sklamberg, JD, director of the Office of Compliance in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in the release. “The FDA is committed to ensuring that products marketed as dietary supplements and vitamins do not pose harm to consumers.” Read more

PAGE BREAK

Adoptive T-cell immunotherapy may treat hepatocellular carcinoma

LONDON — Hepatocellular carcinoma may be treated using adoptive T-cell therapy, according to data from a study presented at the International Liver Congress.

“Liver transplant is an option for only 10% to 15% of HCC carriers diagnosed at an early stage, and therefore the importance of other treatment options for patients is critical,” researchers said in the release. “This is a treatment gap that adoptive T-cell therapy could potentially fill.” Read more

Metformin use increased survival rate in patients with cirrhosis, diabetes

Patients with diabetes who continued metformin use after diagnosis of cirrhosis had a better survival rate compared with those who discontinued it.

Lewis R. Roberts

Lewis R. Roberts

“The current practice of many physicians is to switch diabetic patients who are on metformin from metformin to other drugs such as insulin when the diagnosis of cirrhosis is made, due to concerns about side effects, particularly metabolic acidosis," researcher Lewis R. Roberts, MB, ChB, PhD, division of gastroenterology and hepatology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., told Healio.com/Hepatology. "Our study suggests that most patients with cirrhosis are at low risk of metabolic acidosis from metformin and, further, that metformin use may have a positive effect of prolonging the lives of diabetic patients with cirrhosis. If this finding is reproduced, it may lead to a change in current medical practice.” Read more

Cyramza fails to meet primary endpoint in hepatocellular carcinoma

Results from the phase 3 REACH trial have found that ramucirumab did not meet its primary endpoint of overall survival when used as a second-line treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma.

The REACH trial was a randomized, double-blind trial of 565 patients with a Child-Pugh score <7. Researchers compared ramucirumab (Cyramza) plus supportive care with placebo plus supportive care as second-line therapy in patients who had undergone first-line treatment with sorafenib (Nexavar, Bayer). Read more

Socioeconomic status affected post-liver transplant survival rates

The post-liver transplantation survival rate was better in recipients with a higher socioeconomic status vs. those with a lower socioeconomic status.

“This study is important because we need to identify what resources these patients need for success after liver transplant since it is such a scarce commodity with the organ shortage,” researcher Shimul A. Shah, MD, MHCM, director of liver transplantation and hepatobiliary surgery at the University of Cincinnati, told Healio.com/Hepatology. “How can transplant centers, providers and even the community help these patients with the issues they may face, either as they enter the system or when they leave?” Read more

Nexavar failed to improve recurrence-free survival in HCC patients

Hepatocellular carcinoma patients without detectable disease after resection or ablation experienced no improvement in recurrence-free survival after being assigned sorafenib tablets in an investigational trial. Read more

Idiopathic portal hypertension patients with variceal bleeding, HIV at greater risk for PVT

Idiopathic portal hypertension patients who experienced variceal bleeding or were HIV-infected had an increased risk for portal vein thrombosis.

“The present study shows that PVT is a frequent complication, exceptionally in a subgroup of IPH associated with HIV infection,” the researchers wrote. “We propose that IPH should be categorized based on the difference in the incidence of complications and prognosis.” Read more