Recently obtained statistics suggests that around 2.7 million Americans are currently suffering from chronic hepatitis C virus infection. It’s a severe condition that can have consequences like liver failure and death. However, thanks to findings of a new study, soon we might see doctors recommending a more effective treatment for the advanced liver disease caused by the chronic viral infection.
The study leading to the discovery has been conducted by researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center in Murray and has been led by the director of the organization’s Liver Transplantation Program Dr. Michael Charlton.
The newly discovered cure basically includes an all-oral treatment regimen involving the use of certain medications. Scientists involved in the research are saying that this new treatment will result in much higher cure rates among hepatitis C patients compared to all previously available treatment methods.
The study team under Dr. Charlton published the results of this nationwide study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Charlton will be announcing the study results and their implications for people suffering from hepatitis C virus-induced advanced liver disease at a press briefing next Friday. The press briefing is scheduled to take place at the Intermountain Medical Center at 11 am, on Friday.
Dr. Charlton has described the results of the study as highly promising. He informed that during the course of the study, the researchers saw liver functions of the majority of the participating patients getting stabilized or improving following the treatment.
The study revealing these facts has been named ASTRAL-4 trial, a joint effort of the Intermountain Medical Center and several other leading academic medical centers located in different parts of the nation. The study had investigators deployed at 50 different sites across Puerto Rico and the US.
It’s true that to confirm the efficacy of the new cure, researchers will have to conduct a much longer follow-up, but the researchers are hopeful that the new treatment’s ability of achieving a higher cure rate for hepatitis C patients suffering from advanced liver disease would be raising the possibilities of decreasing the number of hepatitis C patients requiring a liver transplantation.
Recent data suggest that the majority of the patients undergoing liver transplantation in Europe and the United States need to undergo the surgery as a result of being affected by hepatitis C.