Author Interviews, Circadian Rhythm, Diabetes, Exercise - Fitness, Hepatitis - Liver Disease / 01.11.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jeroen van der Velde, PhD Leiden University Medical Center Dept. Clinical Epidemiology, C7-102 Leiden, The Netherlands MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We hypothesized that, in addition to the amount of physical activity, the pattern in which physical activity is accumulated over the day is relevant for metabolic health. Several studies previously showed beneficial effects of interrupting sedentary periods with short periods of activity (breaks in sedentary time) on glucose control. In addition, very recently it has been argued that the timing of physical activity during the day may be relevant for metabolic health. This was mainly shown in animal studies and intervention studies with supervised high intensity exercise training in men with impaired glucose control or type 2 diabetes. If timing of physical activity matters in a ‘free-living’ setting in the general population is largely unknown. Therefore, our aim was to investigate associations of timing of physical activity and breaks in sedentary time with liver fat content and insulin resistance in a middle-aged population. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Cost of Health Care, Hepatitis - Liver Disease / 05.10.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: William W. Thompson, Ph.D. Epidemiologist Division of Viral Hepatitis CDC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Prior to this analysis, we knew only an estimated 1.2 million persons initiated hepatitis C treatment with DAA agents in the United States during 2014–2020, far below the number needed to achieve national hepatitis C elimination goals. Further, the number of persons treated was highest in 2015 and declined to its lowest level in 2020. This analysis used a large national health care claims database to assess the level and timing of hepatitis C treatment among persons with diagnosed HCV infection with breakdowns by sex, age, race, insurance type (i.e., private, Medicaid, and Medicare), and by state. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, JAMA / 06.07.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dania Valvi, MD MPH PhD Assistant Professor Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health Co-Director, MS in Epidemiology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Email: dania.valvi@mssm.edu MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?    Response: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disease in children in the U.S., Europe and other world regions, currently affecting 1 in every 10 children, and 1 in every 3 children with obesity in the U.S. The rate of pediatric NAFLD has more than doubled in recent decades following the epidemic rates also noted for childhood obesity. There is increasing interest in the role that environmental chemical exposures may play in NAFLD etiology, since several animal studies have shown that prenatal exposures to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) cause liver injury and damage; but, until now, the potential effects of prenatal EDC mixture exposures in pediatric NAFLD had not been studied. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Cancer Research, Hepatitis - Liver Disease / 18.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yujin Hoshida, MD, PhD Director, Liver Tumor Translational Research Program CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center Professor of Internal Medicine Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Liver cancer is the fastest rising cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. with the sharply growing epidemic of obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Late diagnosis at advanced stage is the main reason for the poor survival of liver cancer patients. Therefore, professional societies recommend semi-annual liver cancer screening for early diagnosis. However, it's practically infeasible due to the vast size of patient population (estimated to affect one-fourth of population). Thus, we urgently need tools to identify a small subset of patients with elevated liver cancer risk, on which we can concentrate our effort of screening. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Hepatitis - Liver Disease / 27.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sarah Rock, MPH PhD student, Department of Population and Public Health Sciences Keck School of Medicine University of Southern California MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?  Response: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are persistent, man-made chemicals widely used in industry and consumer products. Exposure to these chemicals has been linked to multiple disease outcomes including cancer, glucose dysregulation, and as reported in the current study, liver injury. We compiled results from more than 100PFAS studies in humans and rodents and found consistent evidence that PFAS are related to liver injury. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 25.02.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrea D. Branch PhD Professor of Medicine Division of Liver Diseases Associate Professor of Surgery Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Liver cancer is a deadly condition with a high mortality rate. About 90% of people who develop liver cancer have cirrhosis (advanced liver scarring) due to a chronic underlying liver disease. Patients with cirrhosis are advised to undergo liver cancer surveillance. Early detection improves survival, but diagnosis requires more than a blood test, which makes surveillance complex and expensive. Black individuals are more likely to develop liver cancer than white individuals and are more likely to die from it. Black patients also have more advanced liver cancer at the time of diagnosis than Whites. We aimed to identify additional factors that distinguish liver cancer in African Americans, focusing on patients with hepatitis C virus infection, the most common chronic liver disease in people who die from liver cancer in the United States. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, JAMA, USPSTF / 21.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aaron B. Caughey, M.D.,M.P.P., M.P.H. Professor and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Associate Dean for Women’s Health Research and Policy Oregon Health & Science University Portland, OR Founder and Chair Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–funded Oregon Perinatal Collaborative USPSTF Task Force Member  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Hepatitis B virus infection is a serious condition that affects about 860,000 people in the United States. Screening for hepatitis B can detect the infection early, so that you can receive treatment that will reduce the potential for serious complications, including cancer, liver failure, and even death. Hepatitis B often has no signs or symptoms, so clinicians should screen teens and adults who are at increased risk for hepatitis B to help protect their health. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Kidney Disease / 14.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kevin Moore, MD UCL Institute of Liver and Digestive Health Royal Free Hospital, University College London MedicalResearch.com: What is hepatorenal syndrome – acute kidney injury (HRS-AKI) and how does terlipressin fit into the treatment landscape?  Response: HRS-AKI, also known as hepatorenal syndrome type 1 (HRS-1), is an acute and life-threatening syndrome involving acute kidney failure in people with cirrhosis.[i] HRS-1 can progress to life-threatening renal failure within daysi and has a median survival time of approximately two weeks and greater than 80 percent mortality within three months if left untreated.[ii],[iii] Terlipressin, a potent vasopressin analogue selective for V1 receptors, is an investigational agent, and its safety and effectiveness have not yet been established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In the U.S., there are currently no approved pharmacologic treatments for HRS-1; however, terlipressin is approved in most other countries, where it has been a standard of care for the last 20 years in the treatment of patients with HRS-1.[iv],[v] The current standard of care for HRS-1 in the U.S. includes other vasoconstrictors such as midodrine (a drug which can increase blood pressure and potentially improve blood flow into the kidneys) along with concomitant albumin and frequent monitoring, but current data do not support good efficacy.2 Dialysis (a type of renal replacement therapy) is sometimes used in hepatorenal syndrome, but dialysis is not curative and it can be costly.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Hepatitis - Liver Disease / 07.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Donna R. Cryer, JD President & CEO of the Global Liver Institute  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this announcement? What is the mission of the GLI? Response: Global Liver Institute 's (GLI) mission is to improve the impact of the liver community by promoting innovation, collaboration, and scaling optimal approaches to eradicating liver diseases. Our vision is for liver health to take its proper place on the global public health agenda consistent with its prevalence and impact. One of the ways we seek to fulfill that mission is through a #OctoberIs4Livers worldwide awareness campaign for the fight against liver cancer, reinforcing October as liver disease and liver cancer awareness month. Not only are we seeing a continuous rise of prevalence of liver cancers, but survival rates for liver cancers are also some of the lowest of any cancer. Even more concerning is that the startling truth about the rise of liver cancer rates began before the COVID-19 pandemic. With the added burden of COVID-19, patients directly at risk from the virus may be diagnosed at a later stage due to delayed screening, and are getting sicker due to limitations on access to care during this pandemic. GLI is appealing to the US Congress to act now to secure the health and well-being of people living with liver disease and liver cancers during COVID-19. Funding is crucial to ensure federal agencies can restart and continue medical research, implement targeted prevention, and support awareness efforts for those impacted by liver disease as they are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. [1] (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Hepatitis - Liver Disease / 08.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Takanori Takebe MD Director for Commercial Innovation, Center for Stem Cell and Organoid Research and Medicine (CuSTOM) Assistant Professor, University Cincinnati Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Professor, Institute of Research Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: Drug induced liver injury (DILI) is rare yet highly unpredictable disorder that oftentimes causes drug failure withdrawn from the market during clinical trial even at a very rare incidence of DILI (1/10,000). Indeed, one particular drug TAK875 (Fasigliam) was the case despite promising efficacy. This not only disappoints patient but impact significant financial risk to pharmaceuticals. In collaboration with DILI genomics consortium at US, EU and UK, we’ve found +20,000 genetic make up (variants) defines potential risk of developing Drug induced liver injury thru amplifying cellular stress signal cascades that were investigated by human cell, organoid and patient datasets. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Infections / 10.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sabrina Annick Assoumou, MD, MPH Assistant Professor, Medicine Infectious Diseases at Boston Medical Center Boston University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: During the opioid epidemic there has been an increase in the number of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections due to transmission among persons who inject drugs (PWID). Federally qualified health centers (FQHC) provide care to an underserved and diverse patient population with a high proportion of both injection drug use and HCV. These health care facilities could provide opportunities to enhance HCV testing and treatment, especially at a time when recent data show that the United States is not on the list of high-income nations expected to achieve the World Health Organization’s goal of eliminating HCV by 2030. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gout, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Rheumatology / 15.06.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brian LaMoreaux, M.D., M.S. Medical Director, Medical Affairs Horizon Therapeutics   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Hyperuricemia is associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) but the relationship to fibrosis remains uncertain. Moreover, it is not known whether lowering serum urate will affect the course of NAFLD.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Occupational Health, Outcomes & Safety / 30.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mishal Reja, MD,  MD Resident in Internal Medicine Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: World Trade Center first responders were exposed to environmental toxicants that have resulted in negative health consequences. Gastrointestinal aerodigestive disorders such as GERD and Barrett’s esophagus have been frequently reported in this population. Additionally, an increasing body of literature has shown that fatty liver disease is not only secondary to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and obesity, as previously thought, but can also result from environmental and industrial toxicants. Chemicals such as Vinyl Chloride, Tetrachloroethylene, Perchloroethylene, and many others are frequently found in industrial occupations and have resulted in fatty liver disease, steatohepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Many of these chemicals were also present at ground zero, thus exposing many of first responders to the hepatotoxic effects of these chemicals. To date this is the first study to look at liver disease in World Trade Center first responders. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, JAMA, USPSTF / 12.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Michael Barry MD Director of the Informed Medical Decisions Program Health Decision Sciences Center at Massachusetts General Hospital Physician at Massachusetts General Hospital Professor of Medicine,Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Hepatitis C affects more people today than ever before, many of whom are younger. If left untreated, it can cause serious, lifelong health problems due to liver damage. The good news is that hepatitis C infection is both preventable and treatable, with recent evidence showing that new treatments for adults are highly effective. Knowing this, we’ve broadened our guidelines to recommend screening for hepatitis C in all adults between the ages of 18 and 79. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Health Care Systems, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, UC Davis / 04.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Barbara J Turner MD, MSED, MA, MACP Senior Advisor, Gehr Family Center for Health Systems Science Professor of Clinical Medicine Keck School of Medicine, USC  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Chronic hepatitis C (HCV) infection affects millions of persons in the United States but especially minorities and persons from low income communities. Current national guidelines recommend testing all baby boomers (born 1945 – 65) for HCV with the aim of ultimately curing those with chronic HCV infection with a short course of highly effective medication.  However implementation of these guidelines faces many hurdles in “safety net” practices serving vulnerable populations. (more…)
Author Interviews, Coffee, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 30.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof Hui Wang PhD Wuhan University China MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We started our work in the adverse outcome of maternal caffeine intake during pregnancy about 15 years ago. Then, we found that prenatal caffeine intake could result in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in the offspring. However, the underlying mechanism was unclear. So, we start the current work, and found that hat maternal caffeine intake disrupts liver development before and after birth, which might be the trigger of the adult non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in the offspring rats. Moreover, we further found that the fetal programming of liver glucocorticoid – insulin like growth factor 1 axis, a new endocrine axis first reported by our team, might participate in such process.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, JAMA, OBGYNE, USPSTF / 24.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Melissa Simon, M.D., M.P.H.  George H. Gardner Professor of Clinical Gynecology Vice Chair of Clinical Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Professor of Preventive Medicine and Medical Social Sciences Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Hepatitis B is a viral infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus, or HBV. HBV causes liver disease, which can be either a mild, short-term illness, or a serious, lifelong issue. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has reaffirmed its 2009 recommendation that clinicians screen all pregnant people for HBV at their first prenatal visit. This is an A recommendation. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, JAMA, Kaiser Permanente, Pharmacology / 10.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elizabeth A. McGlynn, PhD Vice President for Kaiser Permanente Research Executive Director Kaiser Permanente Center for Effectiveness and Safety  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: A report from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices based on FDA data and observations from a Kaiser Permanente physician leader raised questions about whether direct acting antiviral medications for the treatment of Hepatitis C posed any significant safety risks for patients. Since the decision to take medications requires making tradeoffs between benefits (which had been clearly established in clinical trials) and risks (which are often harder to ascertain until drugs are in widespread use in the real world) we decided this was an important question to pursue.  We found no evidence of increased risks of significant side effects associated with taking these drugs.  In this cohort study of 33,808 patients in three large health systems we found lower adjusted odds of experiencing the following adverse events:  death, multiple organ failure, hepatic decompensation, acute-on-chronic liver event, and arrhythmia.  (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, JAMA / 07.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Robert Wong, MD, MS, FACG Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine Director, GI Education & Research Highland Hospital   I A member of Alameda Health System Oakland, CA 94602  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Alcoholic liver disease is a major cause of chronic liver disease in the United States and has become the leading indication for liver transplantation in the U.S.  However, accurate estimates of the true burden among U.S. adults is not well studies due to challenges in accurately identifying alcoholic liver disease or lack of awareness is screening individuals for alcohol use disorder.  Given the gaps in knowledge regarding the epidemiology of alcoholic liver disease in the U.S., our current study attempts to further contribute to the understanding of alcoholic liver disease epidemiology in the U.S We utilized a U.S. national cross sectional database and focused on the specific subset of alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is the earlier stage of disease along the spectrum of alcoholic liver disease.  Focusing on alcoholic fatty liver disease allowed us to more accurately define and capture the prevalence of this disease.  Furthermore, given that alcoholic fatty liver disease is early on the overall spectrum of alcoholic liver disease, it is a disease state that early identification provides opportunities to implement therapy and counseling for alcohol abstinence that can prevent further liver damage and disease progression. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Lifestyle & Health, Sugar / 25.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: E. van Eekelen, MSc | PhD Candidate Leiden University Medical Center Dept. Clinical Epidemiology Leiden, The Netherlands MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Fatty liver, defined as excess accumulation of fat within the liver, covers a broad clinical spectrum and is the leading cause of chronic liver diseases. It has also been linked to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The consumption of alcohol is a well-established risk factor for fatty liver. However, we hypothesized that consumption of non-alcoholic energy-containing beverages also leads to liver fat accumulation. We analysed data from the Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity (NEO) study, which is a prospective population-based cohort study including non-invasive measurements of liver fat content by magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Besides consumption of alcoholic beverages, sugar sweetened beverages were associated with more liver fat. We specifically showed that replacement of alcoholic beverages with milk was associated with less liver fat, whereas replacement with sugar sweetened beverages was associated with a similar amount of liver fat, even when taking calories into account.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, JAMA / 22.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Xuehong Zhang, MD, ScD Assistant Professor in Medicine Harvard Medical School Associate Epidemiologist Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the United States., liver cancer incidence is rapidly increasing and over 42,200 new cases were projected to be diagnosed in 2018. The majority of individuals with liver cancer are diagnosed at a late stage, are not eligible for curative therapy, and die within 1 year of diagnosis. Established risk factors for liver cancer are limited to hepatitis B and C virus (HBV/HCV) infections, metabolic disorders, and smoking. Clearly, identification of novel risk factors, particularly those that are modifiable, is urgently needed. Dietary factors have been suspected as important, but only excessive alcohol use and aflatoxin-contaminated foods are considered to be established dietary risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Consumption of whole grains and dietary fiber, especially cereal fiber, have been associated with lower risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which are known predisposing factors for HCC. We thus hypothesized that long-term intake of whole grains and dietary fiber may lower the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and tested this hypothesis using data from two large prospective cohort studies, the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS). (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Kidney Disease, Transplantation / 18.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mark H. Eckman, MD Posey Professor of Clinical Medicine Director, Division of General Internal Medicine Director, Center for Clinical Effectiveness University of Cincinnati Medical Center Cincinnati, OH  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: People who are infected with hepatitis C virus and have kidney failure need a kidney transplant. Recent studies have found that it is possible to transplant kidneys from donors who are infected with hepatitis C virus into patients who need a transplant and are already infected with the virus. In addition, drugs are available to cure most patients of hepatitis C virus, including those who have kidney failure. Infected patients who need a kidney transplant have 2 options. One option is to receive an infected kidney and then use drugs after the transplant to cure themselves and the transplanted kidney of the virus. Another option is to use the drugs first to get rid of the virus and then to receive a kidney from a donor who does not have hepatitis C virus infection. For the more than 500,000 patients receiving dialysis for end-stage renal disease (ESRD), less than 4% receive kidney transplants. Because of the limited organ availability, hemodialysis is the final treatment for most patients with ESRD. Of the 10% or so of U.S. patients receiving dialysis who are infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), some are willing to accept HCV-infected kidneys, in part, because the wait times for such kidneys are shorter than those for HCV-uninfected kidneys. Because the yearly mortality rate for patients receiving hemodialysis is so high, between 4% and 16%, reducing the time to kidney transplant can have a dramatic effect on both survival and quality of life. Because it may not be possible to do this type of research with actual people, we created a model that allowed us to estimate possible outcomes without using actual people. The model was a computer program that combined the best available information to approximate what might happen to participants in a real-world clinical trial. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, NEJM / 07.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Christophe Corpechot Centre de Référence Maladie Rares: Maladies Inflammatoires des Voies Biliaires et Hépatites Auto-immunes (MIVB-H) Filière Maladies Rares: Maladies Rares du Foie de l’Adulte et de l’Enfant Hôpital Saint-Antoine (APHP) et Sorbonne Universités Paris MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC, previously known as "primary biliary cirrhosis") is a rare, chronic, slowly progressive liver disease of unknown cause, mainly affecting women of middle age. It is characterized by serum marks of autoimmunity (specific auto-antibodies), chronic inflammation and destruction of small intra-hepatic bile ducts, and consequent bile secretion impairment (chronic cholestasis) leading to the progressive development of cirrhosis and liver failure. Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) is the only first-line approved treatment for PBC. It improves the biochemical measures of cholestasis and prolongs survival without liver transplantation. However, 30% to 40% of UDCA-treated patients continue to have clinically significant abnormalities of their biochemical liver tests and those patients remain at high risk of developing end-stage liver disease complications. Recently (2016), obeticholic acid (OCA) in association with UDCA has been conditionally approved in patients with an inadequate response to UDCA. This approval (FDA, EMA) was based one the results of a 1-year randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of OCA in patients with an incomplete response or intolerance to UDCA (POISE trial). In this trial, OCA was shown to improve the biochemical features of cholestasis (alkaline phosphatase (ALP) level < 1.67 times the upper limit of the normal range and a reduction of at least 15% from baseline) but was associated with a significant increase of pruritus, a characteristic, potentially debilitating symptom of PBC. BEZURSO is the first ever placebo-controlled phase 3 trial of a fibrate (a class of drugs known to be agonists of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors alpha) in PBC. In this 2-year randomized double-blind trial, 100 patients with an incomplete response to UDCA were assigned to bezafibrate 400 mg/day (n=50) or placebo (n=50), all in association with continued UDCA therapy. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Johns Hopkins, Opiods / 24.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christine Marie Durand, M.D. Assistant Professor of Medicine Johns Hopkins Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study Response: Most Americans know that the United States faces an epidemic of deaths due to drug overdose.  And many are also aware that there is a critical shortage of organs available for transplant.  Perhaps less widely known is that today, more than 1 in every 8 deceased organ donors died from a drug overdose.  The objective of our study was to look at the outcomes of patients who received transplants with organs donated after an overdose. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Microbiome, Nutrition, Weight Research / 13.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Turkish Food” by Garry Knight is licensed under CC BY 2.0Jasmohan S. Bajaj, M.D. Associate Professor Department of Internal Medicine Division of Gastroenterology Virginia Commonwealth University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Altered gut microbiota composition can occur due to diseases and due to changes in the dietary practices. The interaction between these two and their linkage with clinical outcomes in liver diseases, such as cirrhosis is not clear from an international standpoint. In this study we enrolled healthy subjects, and patients with cirrhosis who were either early or advanced in their process from USA and Turkey. We found that the Turkish subjects, who followed a Middle-eastern diet rich in vegetables and fermented milk products, had high microbial diversity, which was in turn associated with lower hospitalizations over 3 months. There was also an additional beneficial effect of coffee and tea intake. This protection persisted even when the clinical factors were accounted for. (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Hepatitis - Liver Disease / 29.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Monica Kasting PhD first author Dr. Anna Giuliano PhD Susan. T. Vadaparampil, Ph.D., M.P.H. Senior Member/Professor Center for Infection Research in Cancer H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida.Department of Cancer Epidemiology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: In the U.S., approximately 1 in 30 baby boomers are chronically infected with hepatitis C virus. Half of all cases of liver cancer are caused by hepatitis C and liver cancer is one of only three cancer types that are actually increasing in incidence in the US. Because of this, in 2012 the CDC issued a recommendation for universal screening for hepatitis C virus for everyone born between 1945 and 1965 (baby boomers). We wanted to look at the time period after that to see if the rates of screening in that population increased. From 2013-2015 screening among baby boomers only increased by 0.9% (from 11.8% to 12.7%) which indicates we still have a long way to go before we meet our goal of universal screening.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, JAMA / 26.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sang Min Park MD, MPH, PhD Chief, Department of Family Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine Director, Health Promotion Center, Seoul National University Hospital Professor, Department of Biomedical Science & Family Medicine Seoul National University College of Medicine Seoul, Korea What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Chronic hepatitis B patients have a higher risk of hepatocellular carcinoma than the general population, which has been well-established and known to be caused by progression of hepatitis B infection into severe liver diseases. However, whether obesity-related carcinogenesis plays a central role in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in chronic hepatitis B patients remained unclear. Therefore, we assessed the association between body mass index and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in chronic hepatitis B patients, and stratified all analyses by sex using healthcare big data in the Republic of Korea. We found positive association of trends between body mass index and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in both men and women with hepatitis B infection. The magnitude of the association in women was stronger than that of men. In the severely obese category, the hazard ratio for hepatocellular carcinoma was significantly higher in women compared to men. Our findings highlight that high body mass index is associated with risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in chronic hepatitis B patients, especially in women, which may be partially explained by higher fat content for the same unit of body mass index in women compared to men. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Imperial College, Technology / 14.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marcus Dorner, PhD Non-Clinical Senior Lecturer in Immunology Wellcome Trust Investigator Imperial College London Department of Medicine, Section of Virology School of Medicine London United Kingdom  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection globally affects over 250 million people and is currently not curable. This infection can lead to liver cirrhosis and liver cancer and is among the leading causes for liver transplantation. Unfortunately, HBV is among the most difficult viruses to study in the laboratory, since model systems are not very good at recapitulating what happens in infected humans. We have just described the first model to effectively change this. Using an artificial “Liver-on-a-Chip”, we have developed a tool, which can potentially revolutionise how we study viral infections by merging the study of viruses with tissue engineering. This model is over 10,000-fold more susceptible to HBV infection and accurately mimics, what happens in an infected patient. This can now be utilised to develop novel and potentially curative therapies, which would benefit millions of people currently living with chronic HBV infection.  (more…)