January 08, 2021
3 min read

7 recent reports in hepatology

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Healio Gastroenterology presents the following reports on the most recent research in hepatology.

These reports cover some of the most recent developments on alcohol-related liver disease, hepatocellular carcinoma and hepatitis C.

Alcohol-related liver disease increases risk for cancer

Patients with alcohol-related liver disease who survive for at least 1 year after diagnosis are at increased risk for cancer, according to study results.

Hannes Hagström, of the division of hepatology at Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden, and colleagues wrote that the association between incident cancer and alcohol-related liver disease (ALD) is not well understood, because patients with ALD are already at increased risk for death and liver-related endpoints. READ MORE

Liver transplant biliary strictures linked to increased rates of allograft rejection

Post-liver transplant biliary strictures correlated with increased rates of allograft rejection, allograft failure, infections and readmissions, according to a study published in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

“Compared to [endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)], management of these patients with [interventional radiology (IR)] or surgical interventions is associated with significantly higher rates of allograft failure and hospital stay,” Divyanshoo R. Kohli, MD, from Kansas City VA Medical Center, and colleagues wrote. READ MORE

Black patients with HCC have worse overall survival

Black patients with hepatocellular carcinoma have worse overall survival compared with white patients, according to study results.

Nicole E. Rich, MD, MS, from the division of digestive and liver diseases at UT Southwestern Medical Center, and colleagues wrote that HCC is becoming a leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States and has disproportionate impact on minority populations. READ MORE

Mailed outreach, inreach effective for HCV screening

A combination of inreach and mailed outreach was an effective hepatitis C screening strategy among hard-to-reach populations, according to study results.

Amit G. Singal, MD, MS, from the department of internal medicine at University of Texas Southwestern, and colleagues wrote that barriers to effective screening programs have made HCV eradication difficult in the United States. READ MORE

Poxel announces plans for phase 2b trial of AMPK activator for NASH

Poxel announced additional positive phase 2a results and plans for a phase 2b trial of PXL770, an oral direct adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase activator intended for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.

“There is a sizable overlap in the NASH patient population such that approximately 50% of NASH patients also have co-existing type 2 diabetes. PXL770 is one of the only therapies in development that has demonstrated the potential to treat NASH with specific use in patients with coexisting type 2 diabetes that are at higher risk for faster disease progression and for co-morbidities, including cardiovascular complications,” Pascale Fouqueray, MD, PhD, executive vice president, Clinical Development and Regulatory Affairs at Poxel, said in a press release. “AMPK activation has the potential to improve the underlying root causes of NASH, such as insulin resistance, the dysregulation of lipid and glucose metabolism and inflammation. We believe PXL770 has the potential to be a much-needed and differentiated therapeutic option for NASH and could be particularly important for the high-risk population with type 2 diabetes.” READ MORE

Novel care model may increase HCV testing uptake in vulnerable populations

Hepatitis C testing uptake was high and treatment outcomes were good among patients seen at a homeless outreach service in a primary care center in London, according to a study presented at The Liver Meeting Digital Experience.

“New direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) offer a cure in more than 95% of treated patients and are widely available and free of charge through the U.K.’s National Health Service. However, despite the availability of free and effective treatments, many marginalized patients still face significant barriers in accessing the HCV cascade of care,” Yura Shin, a medical student at University College London in the United Kingdom, said during a virtual poster presentation. READ MORE

Lack of follow-up ‘should have minimal effect’ on HCV elimination

Patients with hepatitis C who had regular follow-up and those who had delayed follow-up after treatment with direct-acting antiviral agents achieved similar sustained virologic response, according to study results presented at The Liver Meeting Digital Experience.

“Recent advances in HCV treatment using direct-acting antivirals can lead to SVR in almost all patients. Furthermore, generic DAAs have become available at a reduced cost and have enhanced the potential for treatment access worldwide. This has led to the WHO ENDHEP 2030 goals,” Sita Kottilil, from the NIH and Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Maryland, said during a virtual poster presentation. “However, recent elimination demonstration projects have failed to meet the high SVR standards due to lack of follow-up from patients after treatment.” READ MORE