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London liver transplant research breaks new ground 

New treatment options for hepatitis C are bringing more people hope than ever before.

A Canadian leader in organ transplants, London is breaking new ground in liver transplant ­research.

Researchers in the multi-organ transplant program at the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and Lawson Health ­Research ­Institute have found that by treating and curing patients with chronic hepatitis C in advanced stages of liver disease, one-third of the ­patients were able to be taken off the waiting list for a transplant, freeing up more donor organs to others in urgent need.

Tuesday, the researchers will release the first Canadian data to demonstrate their findings.

“It is incredible, the delivery of care is now so easy,” said Paul Marotta, director of the liver transplant program at LHSC, who led the research.

In Ontario today, 221 people are waiting for a liver transplant.

At the end of 2014, nationwide, 507 people were waiting for liver transplants. Some 119 patients died that year alone waiting for a transplant.

Caused by a blood-borne virus, hepatitis C is a liver infection that in its chronic form can cause long-term health problems and even death. It is a leading factor in patients needing a new liver.

But new treatment, about a year old, has resulted in stunning gains, said Marotta.

“It is absolutely fantastic. Previously, patients would cry when treatment did not work, and now they cry because they are cured. Their liver disease has gone away. It has made me cry, too.”

LHSC is a leading transplant centre in Canada, second only to Toronto General Hospital in the number of liver transplants done each year.

The new treatment for chronic hepatitis C in advanced liver disease is a pill compared to injections, with a 90-per-cent cure rate and only two-per-cent side effects, Marotta said.

Read Full Article: London liver transplant research breaks new ground | The London Free Press

Read Full Article: London liver transplant research breaks new ground | The London Free Press

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