Management of hepatitis C continues to evolve, with new therapies and treatment approaches emerging recently. Meanwhile, efforts to eradicate the virus are expanding around the globe. Experts in the field will discuss the newest treatments for hepatitis C virus (HCV), progress toward eradication, and some of the gaps that remain in treatment during the “HCV 2017 Treatment Symposium” Special Interest Group Program today.
“Attendees should leave this session with a solid sense of the recent accomplishments in HCV treatment, the remaining areas of difficulty and important future challenges,” said Donald M. Jensen, MD, FAASLD, professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at Rush Medical College in Chicago. He will co-chair the session along with Andrew J. Muir, MD, FAASLD, professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham.
The session will begin with a talk by Susanna Naggie, MD, also of Duke University School of Medicine, on the Guidance Committee that combines AASLD with the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). The Committee creates guidelines on testing, evaluation, monitoring, and treatment of patients with HCV, and Dr. Naggie will provide an overview of how those guidelines are created and what major gaps remain in the care of these patients. Dr. Jensen was also a founding co-chair of the Guidance Committee.
Two other talks during the session will discuss the latest advances in HCV treatments, how to incorporate new therapies into treatment strategies and some specific HCV patient populations that remain challenging to treat effectively. Paul Y. Kwo, MD, FAASLD, of Stanford University, will discuss the newest therapies—for example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new therapy known as Vosevi (sofosbuvir, velpatasvir, and voxilaprevir; Gilead) in July, and it approved Mavyret (glecaprevir and pibrentasvir; AbbVie) in August. How these and other therapies can be incorporated into existing strategies will be discussed.
Paul J. Pockros, MD, FAASLD, of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., will discuss the more challenging patient populations, which include those with genotype 3, those who have failed earlier treatments, patients with decompensated cirrhosis, patients who are eligible for liver transplantation and others.
“We have treatment strategies that work, but instead of success rates in the 98% to 100% range, which is what we see for the most straightforward patients, these fare slightly worse, closer to 90% or a bit above,” Dr. Jensen said. Some patients may not be able to receive certain medications, and timing of therapy becomes important in patients waiting for a liver transplant.
Philippa J. Easterbrook, MD, MPH, of the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, will focus on the ongoing global efforts to eradicate HCV and will discuss some of those efforts in Egypt, Georgia, Mongolia, Australia, and elsewhere. Advocacy organization NOhep will give a short presentation on how clinicians and researchers can help.
“The four talks,” Dr. Jensen said, “will cover the most important recent advances and key future goals in HCV.”