New Treatment for Hepatitis C Helps Boost Cure Rate

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Methodist Hospital in Houston is excited to share significant news for patients who need treatment for hepatitis C genotype 1, a viral infection that causes liver inflammation that can lead to diminished liver function or symptoms for liver failure. Two new antiviral drugs recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Victrelis and Incivek, when taken with standard hepatitis C treatment drugs interferon and ribavirun, cured 65 percent to 75 percent of people with hepatitis C in clinical trials. “Two decades ago the cure rate for hepatitis C genotype 1 patients was about 6 percent, so this is a 10 times increase,” notes Dr. Howard Monsour, Chief of Hepatology at The Methodist Hospital in Houston. The new drugs also help to shorten treatment time in patients who respond quickly to them.

Dr. Monsour was one of the physicians involved in the Victrelis and Incivek clinical trials. In this new treatment for hepatitis C video, he notes how Victrelis has helped to double the cure rate for African-Americans with hepatitis C.

The new FDA-approved drugs offer more hope in fighting hepatitis C than ever before. However, some patients with severe liver damage who don’t respond effectively to antiviral medications may need a liver transplant to regain better health. The state-of-the-art Methodist Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation has experienced, compassionate physicians and staff and exceptional resources to help guide patients through its liver transplant program. Methodist is committed to leading-edge treatment with a focus on quality of life.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 3.2 million people in the United States have chronic hepatitis C infection. Hepatitis C usually produces no signs or symptoms in early stages, and liver damage typically occurs decades later. People can get hepatitis C through exposure to blood infected with the virus, such as by sharing a needle or from an unsterilized tattoo or piercing. If you think you may be at risk for hepatitis C, talk with your Methodist Hospital in Houston doctor about having a blood test that can detect the virus.


The Methodist Hospital in Houston
Ami Brezina, 832-667-5825

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