The hepatitis C link: Diagnose, treat, transplant

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 20, 2007) -- Hepatitis C not only affects more than 3.9 million Americans, but continues to impact and influence the occurrence of related inflammatory conditions. Research presented today at Digestive Disease Week 2007 (DDW) analyzes advancements in the diagnosis of hepatitis C and therapies available to patients who suffer from the disease. DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians and researchers in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

"Almost four million Americans have chronic hepatitis C infections and are at risk for of cirrhosis, liver failure, liver cancer and transplantation," said John Vierling, M.D., Baylor College of Medicine. "These studies advance our understanding for the potential for developing markers to detect liver cancer, to increase our capacity to treat hepatitis C and provide evidence that livers from persons with hepatitis C can be successfully used for transplantation."

Is Autotaxin (ENPP2) the Link Between Hepatitis C and Hepatocellular Cancer" (Abstract #676)

Chronic active hepatitis C (HCV) remains the strongest connection to the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, liver cancer). Unfortunately, the mechanism behind hepatitis-associated cancer remains puzzling. Such effects as oxidative stress and DNA damage are known to occur in hepatitis, through which the role of the liver in nucleic acid metabolism may be impacted. This study evaluated the key elements in nucleic acid metabolism that might account for the biologic behavior of hepatitis-associated cancer.

Autotaxin (ENPP2) is a tumor cell motility-stimulating factor and has been linked to tumor invasion and cancer growth in several human cancers, such as breast cancer and non-small-cell lung cancer. ENPP2 has also been linked to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and purinergenic pathways, chemical reactions occurring within a cell to maintai

Contact: Aimee Frank
American Gastroenterological Association

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