Dr. Naveed Zafar Janjua on Impact of Hepatitis C Treatment Timing on HCC Risk

Naveed Zafar Janjua, MBBS, MSc, DrPH
Published Online: Monday, Nov 14, 2016


Naveed Zafar Janjua, MBBS, MSc, DrPH, senior scientist, clinical prevention services, BC Centre for Disease Control and clinical associate professor, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, discusses the findings from the British Columbia hepatitis testers cohort, which looked at the impact of hepatitis infection on long term risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
 
Overall, HCC risk is increasing in North America and Canada, says Zafar Janjua. There is a lot of emphasis on interventions to reduce that risk.
 
The study identified individuals that were treated and cured of hepatitis C infection, as well as those individuals who failed their treatment. These patients were followed over a long period of time. They found that overall, successful hepatitis C treatment was associated with a reduced risk of HCC. In addition, the study also found that risk was related to when people where treated. For example, when patients were treated at a more advanced stage when they had cirrhosis, the impact of successful treatment was lower than if they were treated before the developed of cirrhosis, says Zafar Janjua.
 
This has significant implications because, although effective treatments are available for hepatitis C, most people are currently being treated at more advanced-stage disease. Many insurance plans in both the U.S. and Canada are not covering treatment for hepatitis C until a later stage, says Zafar Janjua.
 

Naveed Zafar Janjua, MBBS, MSc, DrPH, senior scientist, clinical prevention services, BC Centre for Disease Control and clinical associate professor, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, discusses the findings from the British Columbia hepatitis testers cohort, which looked at the impact of hepatitis infection on long term risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
 
Overall, HCC risk is increasing in North America and Canada, says Zafar Janjua. There is a lot of emphasis on interventions to reduce that risk.
 
The study identified individuals that were treated and cured of hepatitis C infection, as well as those individuals who failed their treatment. These patients were followed over a long period of time. They found that overall, successful hepatitis C treatment was associated with a reduced risk of HCC. In addition, the study also found that risk was related to when people where treated. For example, when patients were treated at a more advanced stage when they had cirrhosis, the impact of successful treatment was lower than if they were treated before the developed of cirrhosis, says Zafar Janjua.
 
This has significant implications because, although effective treatments are available for hepatitis C, most people are currently being treated at more advanced-stage disease. Many insurance plans in both the U.S. and Canada are not covering treatment for hepatitis C until a later stage, says Zafar Janjua.
 

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