March 06, 2021
3 min read

7 recent reports in HCV

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Healio Gastroenterology presents the following reports on the most recent research on hepatitis C virus.

These reports include new research on the impact of screening methods, elimination efforts and direct-acting antiviral agents.

Current liver cancer screening protocols may miss at-risk Black individuals with HCV

Despite having better liver function at diagnosis, Black patients with hepatitis C virus tended to have more aggressive hepatocellular carcinoma tumors compared with other racial groups, according to a study published in Cancer.

Thus, established guidelines that use the presence of liver cirrhosis to initiate screening for HCC may miss at-risk Black individuals with HCV, according to the researchers. 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 The University of Texas Southwestern, and colleagues wrote that barriers to effective screening programs have made HCV eradication difficult in the United States. 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

EMR system for HCV screening in ED may be beneficial

Nearly two-thirds of patients with chronic hepatitis C infection identified via risk-based screening in the ED attended a first appointment with a provider, researchers reported at The Liver Meeting Digital Experience.

“A streamlined EMR system for HCV screening and subsequent linkage to care from the ED can be successfully implemented,” Ji Seok Park, MD, from the Digestive Disease and Surgery Institute at Cleveland Clinic and the department of internal medicine at Englewood Health in New Jersey, said during a virtual poster presentation. READ MORE

Test-and-treat approach with Epclusa effective for HCV in prisons

A real-world analysis has shown that a test-and-treat approach coupled with treatment with Epclusa is feasible and results in high cure rates among incarcerated patients with hepatitis C.

“We know that persons who are incarcerated worldwide represent a very high-risk group for HCV infection and that engagement and treatment of this patient population is critical to achieve WHO elimination targets for HCV by 2030,” Alexander Wong, MD, FRCPC, from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, said during a virtual poster presentation at The Liver Meeting Digital Experience. “The key principles to achieving better outcomes in this patient population is simplifying the cascade of care and initiating treatment as quickly as possible, ideally via a test-and-treat approach.” READ MORE

Few countries on track to meet WHO HCV elimination goals

Most countries with a high burden of hepatitis C-related deaths have made little progress toward achieving the WHO goal of an at least 10% reduction in hepatitis C-related mortality by 2020, according to research presented at The Liver Meeting Digital Experience.

“In 2016, WHO set hepatitis elimination targets to reduce HCV-related deaths by at least 10% in 2020 and by 65% by 2030. It is important to note that WHO does not specify whether the goals should be defined in terms of death rate or death count,” Abigail Adams, who completed her summer practicum for the University of Georgia with the Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination at the Task Force for Global Health, said during a virtual presentation. READ MORE

DAA treatment for HCV can be cost saving

In addition to preventing premature death, treatment of hepatitis C with direct-acting antiviral agents can be significantly cost-saving for many countries, researchers reported at the Liver Meeting Digital Experience.

“Hepatitis C treatment uptake in most countries remains low due to high drug prices and limited budgets for treating large hepatitis C-infected populations. Due to this, we wanted to look at what price and timeframe does direct-acting antiviral treatment become cost saving,” Madeline Adee, MPH, from Massachusetts General Hospital, said during a virtual presentation. READ MORE