Screening for Liver Cancer in HIV/HCV Coinfected People

Nearly half of HIV/HCV coinfected individuals with liver cancer in an international study were never screened for hepatocellular carcinoma, but those who did undergo screening had their cancer detected at an earlier stage, leading to more effective treatment and improved survival, according to a report presented at the 45th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL 2010) last month in Vienna.

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Rifaximin Reduces Encephalopathy Recurrence, Improves Quality of Life in People with Liver Cirrhosis

The broad-spectrum antibiotic rifaximin (Xifaxan) improves quality of life for people with liver cirrhosis who experience recurrent episodes of hepatic encephalopathy, or brain disease, according to research presented at the 45th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL 2010) last month in Vienna. Another analysis from the same study indicated that rifaximin works by lowering the level of ammonia in the blood.

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EASL 2010: Spontaneous Undetectable Hepatitis B Virus DNA Is Uncommon, especially without HBeAg Clearance

Clearance of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA from the blood seldom occurs without treatment even after a decade, researchers reported at the 45th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL 2010) last month in Vienna. Among people who experience hepatitis B "e" antigen (HBeAg) clearance, however, the likelihood of also achieving undetectable viral load was higher, approaching 50% at 10 years.

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EASL 2010: Achillion Announces Additional Promising Data from Phase 1b Trial of HCV Protease Inhibitor ACH-1625

Achillion Pharmaceuticals this month announced further interim data from an ongoing Phase 1b trial of the company's investigational hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS3 protease inhibitor ACH-1625. At the 45th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL 2010) last month in Vienna, researchers presented early data showing that in patients with genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C, ACH-1625 monotherapy at doses of 500 mg and 600 mg twice-daily for 5 days decreased HCV viral load by approximately 4 log and was generally well-tolerated with no drug-related serious adverse events. The latest data extend these findings to people taking doses of 200 mg twice-daily and 600 mg once-daily.

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EASL 2010: Measurable Neurocognitive Impairment Persists after Episodes of Hepatic Encephalopathy in People with Liver Cirrhosis

Changes in working memory, psychomotor speed, and other neurocognitive measures persist in patients with hepatic encephalopathy due to decompensated liver cirrhosis, according to research presented at the 45th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL 2010) last month in Vienna. A related study presented at the Digestive Disease Week conference (DDW 2010) last week in New Orleans found that more than half of people with compensated cirrhosis (mostly due to hepatitis C) showed signs of neurocognitive impairment, indicating that mild hepatic encephalopathy is common even among individuals without severe liver disease.

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