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Fort Worth, TX, United States

Gonzalez S.A.,Baylor Regional Transplant Institute | Gonzalez S.A.,Baylor University
Gastroenterology and Hepatology | Year: 2010

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the most common indication for liver transplantation in the United States, and recurrent disease associated with HCV is a major cause of allograft loss and mortality. Up to 30% of transplant recipients with HCV will develop progressive fibrosis and cirrhosis within 5 years of transplantation. Several recipient, donor, and viral factors have been identified as risk factors for disease progression. Likewise, immunosuppression with pulse corticosteroids or T-cell-depleting therapies such as muromonab-CD3 have been linked to HCV-associated allograft failure. Antiviral therapy with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin should be considered in select transplant recipients with recurrent HCV infection, as achievement of sustained virologic response is associated with increased allograft and patient survival; however, efficacy may be limited by poor tolerability, requirement for dose reductions, and treatment discontinuation. The use of emerging therapies such as direct-acting antiviral agents and steroid-sparing immunosuppression may play a major role in further advances associated with post-transplant management of recurrent HCV infection. Source


Gonzalez S.A.,Baylor Regional Transplant Institute | Keeffe E.B.,Stanford University
Frontiers in Bioscience | Year: 2011

Viral hepatitis is a major cause of chronic liver disease, liver failure, and hepatocellular carcinoma worldwide, resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. New insights into the pathogenesis and molecular biology of hepatitis viruses have led to the discovery of novel antiviral agents. Likewise, a greater understanding of the natural history of chronic infection, predictors of disease progression, and predictors of virologic response to therapy has resulted in more effective treatment strategies. Recent data have increasingly demonstrated that the ability to achieve a successful response to antiviral therapy may significantly reduce the risk of progressive liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma. Immunization practices and the use of potent antiviral therapy may have a major impact in reducing the burden of chronic liver disease and the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma associated with chronic hepatitis B and chronic hepatitis D. Individualized treatment strategies and the development of direct acting antiviral agents may lead to further improvements in the ability to achieve a sustained virologic response to therapy in chronic hepatitis C. With new advances in the treatment of chronic hepatitis, efforts to optimize viral suppression while reducing the potential for antiviral drug resistance will become increasingly important. Source


Jacobson I.M.,Cornell University | Davis G.L.,Baylor Regional Transplant Institute | El-Serag H.,Baylor College of Medicine | Negro F.,University of Geneva | Trepo C.,Service de Gastro enterologie
Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology | Year: 2010

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections pose a growing challenge to health care systems. Although chronic HCV infection begins as an asymptomatic condition with few short-term effects, it can progress to cirrhosis, hepatic decompensation, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and death. The rate of new HCV infections is decreasing, yet the number of infected people with complications of the disease is increasing. In the United States, people born between 1945 and 1964 (baby boomers) are developing more complications of infection. Men and African Americans have a higher prevalence of HCV infection. Progression of fibrosis can be accelerated by factors such as older age, duration of HCV infection, sex, and alcohol intake. Furthermore, insulin resistance can cause hepatic steatosis and is associated with fibrosis progression and inflammation. If more effective therapies are not adopted for HCV, more than 1 million patients could develop HCV-related cirrhosis, hepatic decompensation, or HCC by 2020, which will impact the US health care system. It is important to recognize the impact of HCV on liver disease progression and apply new therapeutic strategies. © 2010 AGA Institute. Source


Abouljoud M.,Ford Motor Company | Klintmalm G.,Baylor Regional Transplant Institute | Whitehouse S.,Ford Motor Company
American Journal of Transplantation | Year: 2012

This personal viewpoint report summarizes the responses of a survey targeting established transplant programs with a structured framework, such as center, institute, or department, and stability of leadership to assure valuable experiential observations. The 18-item survey was sent to 20 US institutions that met inclusion criteria. The response rate was 100%. Seventeen institutions had a distinct transplant governance structure. A majority of respondents perceived that their type of transplant structure was associated with enhanced recognition within their institution (85%), improved regulatory compliance (85%), transplant volume growth (75%), improved quality outcomes (75%) and increased funding for transplant-related research (75%). The prevailing themes in respondents' remarks were the perceived need for autonomy of the transplant entity, alignment among services and finances and alignment of authority with responsibility. Many respondents suggested that a dialogue be opened about effective transplant infrastructure that overcomes the boundaries of traditional academic department silos. This report of an opinion survey of 20 U.S. transplant programs outlines prevailing themes and opinions regarding the optimal structure of modern transplant practice environments. © Copyright 2012 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons. Source


Gonzalez S.A.,Baylor Regional Transplant Institute | Keeffe E.B.,Stanford University
Clinics in Liver Disease | Year: 2011

Early diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has a significant impact on survival by implementation of effective treatment strategies, including hepatic resection, locoregional ablative therapy, and liver transplantation. The use of serum tumor markers and biopsy are particularly important for diagnosis of small hepatic lesions with atypical features on imaging studies. α-Fetoprotein remains the most frequently used tumor marker for the diagnosis of HCC. The development of novel serum biomarkers for HCC, identification of molecular markers for tissue immunohistochemistry, and emergence of new diagnostic techniques such as proteomic profiling may improve the early detection rate of HCC in the future. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. Source

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