What are the aims of the STOP-HCV Work Programme?
The STOP-HCV Work Programme has 3 major over-arching translational aims:
- Effective stratification to develop prognostic risk prediction models to identify patients that will benefit from different treatment options, including directly acting anti-viral drugs (DAAs).
Drug development for HCV is progressing at a rapid rate. Therapies that work for some patients prove ineffective for others. Understanding host and viral genetic factors, biomarkers and patient pre-treatment variables, (or a combination of these), in order to maximise the efficacy of current therapies and future drug development is an essential component of STOP-HCV.
- Stratification within viral genotype-3 infection.
Genotype-3 infection represents half of HCV infections in the UK. Evidence suggests that viral and host genetic factors associated with HCV treatment differ in this patient group compared to those patients infected with genotype-1. Relapse rate with PEG/RV therapy is high for patients infected with genotype-3 and this patient group is a particular focus for STOP-HCV.
- Stratification of patients with (i) established cirrhosis, and (ii) HIV co-infection to determine treatment outcome and disease progression
Increasingly significant subgroups of HCV-infected patients in the UK are those with cirrhosis and those co-infected with HIV. Liver-related complications (e.g. liver cancer) are high in these groups of patients. There is substantial need to study the factors associated with treatment success within this group in order to improve future patient care.