Whether you develop chronic Hepatitis C, and how well you respond to treatment, may be strongly influenced by your genes.

Many people are exposed to Hepatitis C but still manage to clear it from their system. Part of this is due to having a strong, healthy immune system—but new research suggests that a certain gene may allow the virus better access to cells.

This same gene may impair current treatments. The gene is part of a set (IFNL) that indicate a lot about how a patient will respond to treatments. The new research relied on a new method to observe how Hepatitis C affected the gene, and found a deeper explanation—first, exactly who won’t respond to treatment, and second, a path that future research might follow to develop new treatments.

African Americans mostly carry the gene that makes treatment unsuccessful, but the new gene testing method could be revealing for everyone, and lead to more targeted therapies.

Other Hep C research published recently has found more detail about how the Hepatitis C virus affects RNA, creating another possible path to future treatment.

What do you think of Hep C treatments?


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