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Spotting Gene Variants May Boost Hepatitis C Treatment: MedlinePlus

Spotting Gene Variants May Boost Hepatitis C Treatment
Research zeroes in on patients with protection from drug-induced anemia

URL of this page: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_108137.html(*this news item will not be available after 04/26/2011)

By Robert Preidt
Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Related MedlinePlus Pages

Genes and Gene Therapy
Hepatitis C

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists have pinpointed two gene variants that protect hepatitis C patients from anemia caused by antiviral treatment.

The findings are detailed in two studies that appear online and in the February print issue of the journal Hepatology.

The ability to identify patients with the two variants in the inosine triphosphatase (ITPA) gene will help ensure that antiviral therapy is completed and the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is eliminated, the researchers say in a news release from the journal's publisher.

Up to 170 million people worldwide have chronic HCV infection, which is a leading cause of end-stage liver disease. HCV is curable with the antiviral drugs pegylated interferon and ribavirin, but these medications cause anemia in many patients.

In one study, Italian researchers looked at 238 HCV patients treated with the antiviral drugs and found that the two ITPA variants were strongly associated with protection from anemia.

Japanese scientists found similar results in their study of 61 patients with HCV.

SOURCE: American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, news release, Jan. 26, 2011
Copyright (c) 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
Spotting Gene Variants May Boost Hepatitis C Treatment: MedlinePlus

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