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Study Focuses On New Directions Of Viral Hepatitis Care And Research

May 15, 2012

Studies also highlight formidable challenges that remain

The editors of Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute, are pleased to announce the publication of this year’s highly anticipated special 13th issue. Published each May, the 13th issue is devoted to a particular gastroenterological topic of broad interest; this year’s topic is viral hepatitis.

In conjunction with editor-in-chief M. Bishr Omary, MD, PhD, this issue was developed by Gastroenterology’s experts in viral hepatitis: Senior Associate Editor Anna S. Lok, MD, AGAF, and Associate Editor Jean-Michel Pawlotsky, MD, PhD. Their expertise guided the contributing authors – an outstanding group of thoughtful expert international leaders.

“Our goals in this special issue of Gastroenterology are to give readers an up-to-date insight into the tremendous progress made over the past few years in viral hepatitis research and care, and to guide them through complex challenges and expected future developments,” said the editors.

In this year’s issue, classic review articles are interspersed with insightful commentaries that address critical unresolved issues and fundamental questions for the future. The content is organized into four sections, mainly related to hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections: epidemiology and pathophysiology; diagnostic and prognostic tools; therapy and prevention; and hepatitis E virus, a neglected virus that was recently found to be clinically important in industrialized countries.

No other field in hepatology and gastroenterology has grown more rapidly than viral hepatitis in the past 15 years, thanks to the considerable interest of the scientific community for diseases that involve more than 500 million patients worldwide; active support for research from governments in the U.S., Europe, Japan and Australia; and major drug industry investment for what promises to be an incredibly rewarding market for antiviral drugs. This issue not only contains classical review articles dealing with important areas for which major advances have occurred recently, but editorial-like commentaries exploring critical unresolved issues and fundamental questions for the future. The commentaries, reviews and their distinguished authors are as follows:

Commentaries

“Is Hepatitis C Virus Carcinogenic?” by Stanley M. Lemon and David R. McGivern
“HCV Infection and Metabolic Syndrome: Which Is the Chicken and Which Is the Egg?” by Francesco Negro
“Genetic Factors and Hepatitis C Virus Infection” by Alexander J. Thompson
“Will Interferon-Free Regimens Prevail?” by Christoph Welsch and Stefan Zeuzem
“Is There a Role for Ribavirin in the Era of Hepatitis C Virus Direct-Acting Antivirals?” by Jordan J. Feld
“Is Hepatitis Virus Resistance to Antiviral Drugs a Threat?” by Jean-Michel Pawlotsky
“Will There Be a Vaccine to Protect Against the Hepatitis C Virus?” by Benoît Callendret and Christopher M. Walker

Reviews

“Epidemiology of Viral Hepatitis and Hepatocellular Carcinoma” by Hashem B. El-Serag
“Animal Models for the Study of Hepatitis C Virus Infection and Related Liver Disease” by Jens Bukh
“Noninvasive Methods to Assess Liver Disease in Patients With Hepatitis B or C” by Laurent Castera
“New Virologic Tools for Management of Chronic Hepatitis B and C” by Stéphane Chevaliez, Christophe Rodriguez and Jean-Michel Pawlotsky
“Maximizing Opportunities and Avoiding Mistakes in Triple Therapy for Hepatitis C Virus” by A. Sidney Barritt and Michael W. Fried
“Management of Patients Coinfected With HCV and HIV: A Close Look at the Role for Direct-Acting Antivirals” by Susanna Naggie and Mark S. Sulkowski
“Anti-Hepatitis C Virus Drugs in Development” by Esperance A.K. Schaefer and Raymond T. Chung
“Effectiveness of Hepatitis B Treatment in Clinical Practice” by Steven J. Scaglione and Anna S.F. Lok
“Viral Hepatitis in Liver Transplantation” by Gonzalo Crespo, Zoe Mariño, Miquel Navasa and Xavier Forns
“Pathogenesis and Treatment of Hepatitis E Virus Infection” by Heiner Wedemeyer, Sven Pischke and Michael P. Manns

“We hope this supplementary issue will provide the readers with useful and up-to-date information to understand the new directions of viral hepatitis care and research, and the formidable remaining challenges,” stated Drs. Lok and Pawlotsky.

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