Levels of interferon-stimulated genes in the liver and blood could help predict if a patient with hepatitis C will respond to conventional therapy, researchers at Kanazawa University suggest.
A combined therapy using interferons and ribavirin is often used to treat chronic hepatitis C, but around half of patients are unresponsive and suffer relapse. Previous research has shown that variations in a gene called interleukin 28B (IL28B) render a patient either sensitive to treatment or completely resistant to it. However, the mechanisms relating the IL28B gene to the treatment are not well understood.
The team analyzed liver and blood samples from hepatitis C patients taken before treatment, and found that fewer immune cells reached the livers of patients with the therapy-resistant genotype.
In the meantime, measuring ISG expression patterns in blood and liver samples could provide a useful way of predicting a patient’s response to interferon / ribavirin therapy.
The above story is based on materials provided by Organization of Frontier Science and Innovation, Kanazawa University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
- Masao Honda, Takayoshi Shirasaki, Tetsuro Shimakami, Akito Sakai, Rika Horii, Kuniaki Arai, Tatsuya Yamashita, Yoshio Sakai, Taro Yamashita, Hikari Okada, Kazuhisa Murai, Mikiko Nakamura, Eishiro Mizukoshi, Shuichi Kaneko. Hepatic interferon-stimulated genes are differentially regulated in the liver of chronic hepatitis C patients with different interleukin-28B genotypes. Hepatology, 2014; 59 (3): 828 DOI: 10.1002/hep.26788
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