February 7, 2014
Turning the Tide: Treatment
The need to effectively stage a patient's liver disease may be lessened in the wake of dramatic improvements on the HCV treatment front. Much as the evolution of HIV antiretrovirals into highly effective, minimally toxic options has rendered the "when to start" question increasingly moot for HIV treatment, multiple new generations of HCV medications may have the same effect on treatment of the virus.
Several waves of direct-acting antiretrovirals are now washing up on the HCV treatment shoreline. As researchers hone in more directly on HCV-specific proteins to disrupt, side effects become less likely and efficacy increases.
"The previous barriers to therapy are really disintegrating at this point in time, so I'm hoping that will encourage all of us to refer, and/or treat ourselves, more and more of these patients," Cox said. "We really don't need biopsy in many cases; the treatments are just much better in terms of efficacy and tolerability now."
Myles Helfand is the editorial director of TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.
Follow Myles on Twitter: @MylesatTheBody.
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