Exciting Advances in the Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C

Dr. Michell Shiffman of Bon Secours' Liver Institute of Virginia

Dr. Michell Shiffman of Bon Secours' Liver Institute of Virginia

For the past decade the treatment for chronic Hepatitis C (HCV) has been the drugs peginterferon and ribavirin, but liver specialists like Dr. Mitchell Shiffman of the Liver Institute of Virginia will soon be able to offer new and much more effective treatments for chronic HCV.

The results of studies evaluating two different protease inhibitors, telaprevir and boceprevir, were recently made available.  Protease inhibitors are powerful anti-viral agents which prevent viruses from reproducing. When either of these protease inhibitors (telaprevir or boceprevir) were taken with the traditional drugs to treat chronic HCV (peginterferon and ribavirin), 67-75% of patients in these studies were cured of HCV.

Patients who responded rapidly and had undetectable HCV within 4 weeks of initiating treatment with the protease inhibitor, peginterferon and ribavirin had the highest cure rates – approximately 90-95% – and this was achieved with just 24 weeks of treatment.

These are great and promising results for those suffering from chronic HCV. However, as with all drugs, there are side effects and therefore patients must be monitored carefully.

Many other protease inhibitors are being developed for treatment of chronic HCV. Clinical trials utilizing many of these agents are being conducted by Dr. Shiffman and his staff at the Liver Institute of Virginia. Any physician interested in having a patient evaluated for enrollment into one of these clinical trials should contact the Liver Institute of Virginia for an appointment.

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About Dr.MLShiffman

Dr. Mitchell Shiffman is the Bon Secours expert on liver disease and liver treatments for Virginia. Prior to joining Bon Secours, Dr. Shiffman was a professor of Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, VA. He was the Chief of the Hepatology Section and Medical Director of the Liver Transplant Program at the VCU Medical Center from 1989 until 2009. During his 20 years at the VCU Medical Center Dr. Shiffman built and directed one of the most respected and productive hepatology programs in the United States. Dr. Shiffman is recognized as one of the world’s leaders in the field of Hepatology. His particular area of research is viral hepatitis. He has been involved with and/or directed numerous clinical trials to develop new and better treatments for viral hepatitis B and C. Dr. Shiffman is a regular speaker on the treatment of viral hepatitis, the management of various liver disorders, and issues related to liver transplantation at regional, national and international society meetings. He has published over 200 articles in medical journals related to the treatment of liver diseases and has edited two books on this topic. In addition, he has contributed to various HCV educational resources including an HCV educational kit. Dr. Shiffman is also a widely recognized expert consultant to pharmaceutical companies on the treatment of liver disease. Dr. Shiffman holds a Bachelor of Arts from State University of New York at Buffalo, a Master of Science in physiology from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in Albuquerque, N.M. and his Doctor of Medicine from State University of New York Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, N.Y. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine and fellowship training in gastroenterology and hepatology at the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals in Richmond, VA. Dr. Shiffman is a member of many professional organizations including: the American College of Gastroenterology, American College of Physicians, the American Gastroenterological Association, American Society for the Study of Liver Diseases, American Society of Transplantation, European Association for the Study of the Liver, International Liver Transplantation Society, Richmond Academy of Medicine, Virginia Medical Society and the Virginia Gastrointestinal Society. He was a member of the Board of Trustees with the American College of Gastroenterology from 2003-2009.

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