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International Liver Conference Highlights The Latest Treatment of Liver Diseases

More than 150 liver disease experts participated in the Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver’s (APASL) 20th Annual Conference in Beijing, China.

The conference spotlighted latest research and treatment in the field of liver diseases, with a special emphasis on hepatitis C, the disease recognized as ’s top health concern. With over 12% of the population infected, has the highest prevalence worldwide.

Dr. Gamal Shiha, President of the Association of Liver Patients Care and the first Arab physician appointed on board of APASL, shared the results of his latest study. The study focused on evaluating the efficacy of local interferon (Reiferon), the hepatitis C treatment recently administered by the National (NHI).

More than 100 hepatitis C patients treated by local interferon, for a period of 48 weeks participated in the observational study. Results demonstrated that the cure rate achieved by Reiferon does not exceed 25%, substantially less than half the 63 % achieved by global therapies. Moreover, relapse rates stood at 43%, four times the 10% recorded for global therapies. Dr. Shiha urged the Ministry of Health to undertake more extensive studies.

Peter French, Secretary General of the European Association for the Study of Liver (EASL), emphasized that only two globally approved hepatitis C treatments – Pegasys, manufactured by Roche and Peg-Intron manufactured by Schering Plough contain an active component called polyethylene glycol (PEG). This allows for the slower absorption of interferon thereby extending the duration of its efficacy so it can actively fight the virus for a full week between injections.

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