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August 17, 2009

Genetic test predicts who will respond to hepatitis C treatment

"The investigators found that a specific gene was strongly associated with a sustained virological response to treatment. This association was most pronounced in individuals of European ancestry, with the patients who carried this gene having a significantly increased chance of a response to treatment with anti-hepatitis C drugs than patients who did not (odds ratio [OR], 7.3; 95% CI: 5.1-10.4). The gene also increased the chances of treatment working in African-Americans and Hispanics, but to a lesser degree than in whites.

"Furthermore, the investigators found that the gene was more strongly associated with response to treatment in European-Americans than either baseline hepatitis C viral load or liver fibrosis, the usual predictors of hepatitis C treatment response.

"However, in African-Americans and Hispanics, both of these traditional risk factors were a better guide to treatment response than the presence of the gene."

Read more in Aidsmap, August 17, 2009.