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    DAAs aid treatment of hepatitis C patients with cancer

    Direct-acting antiviral (DAA) agents can be safely administered along with selected chemotherapeutic agents in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected cancer patients who are monitored closely, according to a new study.

    Guidelines are available for special HCV-infected populations, such as patients infected with HIV infection, but no recommendations exist for cancer patients. Recently published recommendations on the management of HCV-infected patients with hematologic malignancies or undergoing hematopoietic cell transplantation do not address the issue of using concomitant DAAs and chemotherapy.

    Clinicians have been hesitant to use chemotherapy at the same time with DAA agents because of the fear of adverse reactions. “We showed for the first time that this combination can be safe and highly effective in selected patients infected with HCV,” senior author Harrys A. Torres, MD, associate professor of medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, told Medical Economics .

    The researchers published their results in the December 2016 Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

    Torres and colleagues administered concomitant treatment with DAAs and chemotherapy to 21 patients either for virological reasons in two-thirds of patients or oncologic reasons in one-third. DAAs included sofosbuvir, ledipasvir, simeprevir and daclatasvir with or without ribavirin.

    Next: The results

    Mark L. Fuerst
    Staff Correspondent

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