Patient's Genes May Impact Hepatitis C Outcomes
WebMD News Archive
David L. Smalley, PhD, professor of pathology at the University of
Tennessee, Memphis, agrees with the researcher's statement that a complex mix
of genetic, environment, and virus factors determines the outcome of HCV
"Genetics is one component that affects the outcome of HCV," says
Smalley in an interview with WebMD. "This is one step in the right
direction to find the genetic effects that might allow us to determine an
intervention's success or failure. For us to fully understand a disease that
evolves over a 20- or 30-year period of time, it is clear that we have to look
at many other factors."
Leslye D. Johnson, PhD, who is with the National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases, tells WebMD in an interview that this will probably give
researchers a way to narrow the scope of future studies in an attempt to find
something that is useful in treating patients.
"I don't think the results of this will be clinically useful," says
Johnson, who was not involved in the study. "Although looking at these
genes might give you some idea of what was going to happen, it is not going to
- Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is transmitted via blood transfusion, IV drug use,
or sexual contact and can cause a variety of ills, including a mild infection,
liver disease, or liver cancer.
- A new study shows that genetic factors influence which HCV patients will
have a self-limiting type infection or a more persistent infection.
- This new information could help patients in the future, but for now they
must rely on many experimental treatments, none of which can kill the