the torch Winter 2017, Issue 4 | Page 20

Research could mean breakthrough for patients waiting for organ transplant these medications in liver transplant patients. The Revolutionary Hepatitis C Treatment “Hepatitis C sits around in the body, Physicians at Baylor University and then, 20, 30 years later, it can pop working on several trials that have which is cirrhosis,” said Sumeet but may also affect the rates of organ medical staff and medical director for “In Texas, we have two patients die at Baylor Dallas. “In fact, hepatitis C transplant. We just don’t have causes for the need for a liver M.D., chief of transplant cardiology As pharmaceutical companies Medical Center at Dallas have been up and cause end-stage liver disease, not only led to a cure for hepatitis C, Asrani, M.D., hepatologist on the donation. the Clinic of Advanced Liver Disease a day waiting for a solid organ virus is one of the most common enough donors,” said Shelley Hall, transplant.” at Baylor Dallas. “We are now searched for better treatments for the decrease that wait time and increase one of the sites for their clinical trials. What’s moving the needle, even if recently approved several drugs from hepatitis C, an infection of the liver “A decade ago, in some people, the if a hepatitis C patient has already received a new liver, the patient can take this newer class of drugs to treat the virus safely after transplant and prolong their lifespan. Third, this may increase the number of people who may be eligible to donate their liver. Organs from potential donors with hepatitis C who previously were not eligible to donate their organs can still be used theoretically for selected sick patients waiting for a transplant and increase the number of donor organs. TROJAN-C Trial Takes of f Nationally and at Baylor Most hear ts from hepatitis working on an exciting protocol to virus, Baylor Dallas was selected as C-positive donors were previously organ donation.” The Food and Drug Administration has even though they are often strong, slowly, is new drug therapy that cures these trials. caused by a virus. About 3.9 million response rate was only 10-20 Earlier drugs to fight the virus had to 99 percent of patients with one pill work. virtually no side effects. That has deemed ineligible for transplantation, healthy hearts. Transplant specialists, though, are theorizing that these hearts, from donors who never received treatment for hepatitis C, people in the U.S. have the disease. percent. Now, we’re able to cure 95 harsh side effects and didn’t always a day in as short as two months with Physicians on the medical staff at been revolutionary,” Dr. Asrani said. is the principal investigator of the trial involved in several clinical trials to affect organ donation? First, from the Trojan horse: “Hepatitis C used to be safety and efficacy. Additionally, they medication cures hepatitis C, then he Baylor Dallas and researchers are So, how will this advancement test the transformational drugs’ perspective of the patient, if the are investigating the novel use of or she may not even need a new liver if they are otherwise stable. Second, 20 could be transplanted into recipients, who would then undergo treatment for the virus after the transplant. Robert Gottlieb, M.D., Ph.D., who at Baylor Dallas, compares it to a the enemy, but now it can be used to actually save lives instead,” he said. “It’s really turning the paradigm of the Trojan Horse on its head. We can