Hope for Hep C cure: No excuse for risk-taking, expert warns

Professor Geoff McCaughan

Exciting early indications of a cure for Hepatitis C do not mean we should become complacent about the risks of contracting the debilitating disease, a leading Australian researcher warns.

Professor Geoff McCaughan, right, head of the Liver Immunobiology Program at Sydney’s Centenary Institute of medical research, says preliminary results of a newly developed oral treatment regime for liver transplant patients with Hepatitis C were showing promising results.

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Number of people worldwide with hepatitis would fill over 6,000 Olympic stadiums **

Dr Nick Shackel, Associate Faculty, Liver Cell Biology, Liver Injury & Cancer. Photo by Kat Finch.

Dr Shackel studies the genes that are triggered when hepatitis strikes. He hopes his work will lead to a better and earlier understanding of the likely course of the disease in individual patients.

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by infection with a virus. The virus types B and C that lead to chronic conditions are the most common causes of liver scarring or cirrhosis and of liver cancer.  It is typically diagnosed after people visit their GPs complaining of extreme tiredness and is picked up through a routine blood test, which can even distinguish the type.

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