Potential treatment options and future research to increase hepatitis C virus treatment response rate
Veronica TenCate, Bruno Sainz Jr, Scott J Cotler, Susan L Uprichard
Department of Medicine, Section of Hepatology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
Abstract: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a liver-tropic blood-borne pathogen that affects more than 170 million people worldwide. Although acute infections are usually asymptomatic, up to 90% of HCV infections persist with the possibility of long-term consequences such as liver fibrosis, cirrhosis, steatosis, insulin resistance, or hepatocellular carcinoma. As such, HCV-associated liver disease is a major public health concern. Although the currently available standard of care therapy of pegylated interferon α plus ribavirin successfully treats infection in a subset of patients, the development of more effective, less toxic HCV antivirals is a health care imperative. This review not only discusses the limitations of the current HCV standard of care but also evaluates upcoming HCV treatment options and how current research elucidating the viral life cycle is facilitating the development of HCV-specific therapeutics that promise to greatly improve treatment response rates both before and after liver transplantation.
Keywords: interferon, STAT-C, combination therapy, personalized therapy, emerging drug targets, viral life cycle
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