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New biomarker predicts response to hepatitis C treatment
Date:8/16/2009

f it. It is most certainly a triumph of translational medicine," says John McHutchison, M.D., associate director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute, a member of the Division of Gastroenterology in the School of Medicine at Duke and study co-author. "This is a perfect example of bedside to bench and back to bedside investigation."

The new marker is a single letter change a C instead of a T in a tiny segment of DNA near the IL28B gene. Researchers found it by studying 1671 individuals who participated in the IDEAL study, a multi-center clinical trial that compared the two most widely used therapies among patients with the most common form of the disease in the U.S. and Europe. McHutchison was the lead investigator of the recently published IDEAL study, which found no clinically meaningful differences in overall viral response among the regimens.

In conducting the current study, Goldstein and his colleagues found that the patients who had the single-letter change in their DNA were significantly more likely to respond to treatment than those who did not have it. "Eighty percent of those with the favorable response genotype eradicated the virus, while only about 30 percent with the less favorable response genotype did so. With differences of that magnitude, patients considering therapy may want to know what their genotype is before they start treatment," says Goldstein.

Goldstein says they were struck by the finding that the "good" genotype proved beneficial to patients in all population subgroups. "But because it appears significantly more often among Caucasian populations than it does among African populations, we feel it explains much of the difference in response rates we see between African Americans and those of European ancestry," says Goldstein. "This tells us that individual genetic makeup is much more important determinant of response to treatment than is race or ethnicity."

Researchers found that African Americans w
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Contact: Michelle Gailiun
michelle.gailiun@duke.edu
919-660-1306
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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