Predictors of Hepatitis C Progression
Chronic Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is the leading cause of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the US and is emerging to be an important cause of mortality from liver disease in China. While chronic HCV does not always lead to cirrhosis or HCC, it has been estimated that 20% of people with chronic HCV infection progress to cirrhosis. Extensive research on Hepatitis C at both universities has long been established and this collaboration strives to identify genetic markers that predict the progression from chronic HCV infection to cirrhosis and HCC and to identify and validate blood markers of liver fibrosis and early HCC in patients. The study is being conducted at both UMHS and PUHSC hospitals, allowing comparison of genetic and environmental factors from two diverse populations. The data collected from this study will allow for a more in-depth knowledge of chronic HCV and possible treatment options at different stages of the disease.