Print this page    •   Back to Web version of article

Immune Gene May Help Predict Effectiveness of Hepatitis C Therapy

February 2010

As discussed earlier, newer hepatitis C treatments are currently being studied that hopefully will not only cure more people but will also reduce its many side effects and length of therapy. In the meantime, a gene called IL28B has been found that may help predict how effective hepatitis C therapy will be in certain people. Not only is it associated with long-term responses to current standard therapy, it also helps forecast how fast the treatment response is.

In November 2009, results from the IDEAL study of 1,600 people showed that the "CC" version of IL28B (getting the gene from both parents) is associated with the best response to treatment. The "TC" type (only one IL28B gene from one parent) and "TT" type (no gene from either parent) were associated with poorer outcomes. Other factors that influenced treatment outcomes were hepatitis C viral load, ethnicity, liver fibrosis and fasting blood sugar. This gene will also have to be studied in all of the newer drugs now in study.

Confirming these results with more research is the next step. Nevertheless, developing a test that detects this gene could change medical practice for treating hepatitis C. Test results would give doctors and patients alike more information to make better decisions before starting therapy. Hopefully a new test will be developed quickly, perhaps before the end of 2010.




This article was provided by Project Inform. It is a part of the publication Project Inform Perspective. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:
http://www.thebody.com/content/art55678.html

General Disclaimer: TheBody.com is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through TheBody.com should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.