From a No-Name Virus to a Cure: Treatment Options Blossom for Hepatitis C

Donald Jensen (front, thumbs up) at a recent reunion of patients who have been cured of hepatitis C

Donald Jensen (front, thumbs up) at a recent reunion of patients who have been cured of hepatitis C

An estimated 4 million Americans have hepatitis C, which can cause cirrhosis, liver failure and death. HCV is the fastest-growing cause of cancer mortality at a time when deaths from most types of cancer are declining. In 2007, HCV moved ahead of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, as a cause of death in the United States. But thanks to the pioneering work of Donald Jensen, director of our Center for Liver Diseases, scientists have developed several direct-acting antiviral (DAA) agents that precisely target viral enzymes, preventing the virus from making copies of itself. In a new feature in our Newsroom, Jensen says these new treatments are effectively a cure for hepatitis C:

“Now we can cure the majority of patients,” said Donald Jensen, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Center for Liver Diseases at the University of Chicago Medicine. “In less than two years, we’ll have results from large-scale trials of targeted antivirals that will mean more cures with far fewer side effects. I’m hoping it will put me out of business.”

Jensen also spoke to the Chicago Tribune recently about the rapidly changing landscape of treatment options for hepatitis C. Find out more about the Center for Liver Diseases.

About Matt Wood (514 Articles)

Matt Wood is a senior science writer at the University of Chicago Medicine and nonfiction editor for Another Chicago Magazine.

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