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New drug combination may treat Hepatitis C

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Scientists see promise in new drug therapySaint Louis University researchers found that a new combination therapy helps treat some people with hepatitis C who have not responded to other therapy. The findings are published in the June issue of Hepatology.

"This represents an important advance for difficult to treat hepatitis C patients who have failed to respond to traditional therapy," said Dr Bruce Bacon, co-director of the Saint Louis University Liver Center.

Hepatitis C is the most common chronic bloodborne infection in the U.S. It is usually caught through exchanging needles, but can be transmitted sexually.

About 4 million people in the U.S. have been infected with hepatitis C; around 2.7 million have chronic infections. An estimated 10,000 to 12,000 people die from complications each year. Only about 20 percent of those infected ever show symptoms, most people need to be diagnosed by a hepatitis test.

About half of those with chronic hepatitis C recover after the standard treatment but the other half tend to improve but don't eliminate the virus completely.

The researchers found that patients who had been unresponsive to initial treatment responded to the new treatment about 18 percent of the time. ADNFCR-2248-ID-19222111-ADNFCR

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