2014 was an important year for scientists working on Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) as it celebrated the 25th anniversary of its discovery and the establishment of new Interferon (IFN)-free therapeutic regimens able to eradicate HCV infections.
HCV isolation was achieved in Dr Houghton’s laboratory at Chiron Corporation in 1989, almost 20 years after the demonstration by Alter’s Laboratory at the NIH that most post-transfusion hepatitis cases were not due to hepatitis A or B viruses.
25 years later, new anti-HCV direct-acting antivirals have been developed and more than 130 million HCV-infected people finally have a chance of an effective cure.
The likely eradication of HCV infection will also drastically contribute to reduce the worldwide burden of hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC), the fifth most prevalent cancer type and the third cause of cancer deaths.
Moreover, such studies will likely contribute to the identification of specific HCC molecular pathways and novel molecular/immunotherapy targets.
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