160 research outputs found

    Quantitative serological evaluation as a valuable tool in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign

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    Objectives: After exceptional research efforts, several vaccines were developed against SARS-CoV-2 which sustains the pandemic COVID-19. The Comirnaty vaccine showed high efficacy in clinical trials and was the first to be approved for its distribution to the general population. We evaluated the immune response induced by the first vaccine dose in different sex/age groups and subjects with or without naturally present anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Methods: As part of an Italian multicenter project (Covidiagnostix), serum samples from 4,290 health-professionals were serologically tested the day of the first vaccination dose, and 21 days later, using two different instrumentations (Siemens-Healthineers and Roche). Results: In total, 97% of samples showed the presence of specific antibodies 21 days after the vaccination dose; the percentage of non-responders increased with age in both genders. Remarkably, naturally seropositive individuals showed antibody persistence up to 11 months and an exceptionally higher vaccination response compared to subjects never infected by SARS-CoV-2. Conclusions: This study highlighted the importance of the serological test i) to identify naturally SARS-CoV-2 seropositive individuals and ii) to evaluate the antibody level elicited by the first vaccination dose. Both tests, highlighted differences in the immune response, when subjects were stratified by sex and age, and between naturally seropositive and seronegative subjects.The data obtained show how serological tests could play a crucial role in the triage of the population subjected to the vaccination campaign for COVID-19. The definition of suitable instrumentation-specific thresholds is needed to correctly follow eventually acquired post-vaccination immunity in the general population

    optimizing patient referral and center capacity in the management of chronic hepatitis c lessons from the italian experience

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    Abstract Aims In 2017 the Italian Drug Agency (Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco, AIFA) revised the criteria for access to therapy for patients with chronic hepatitis C as part of a three-year plan to eradicate HCV. We conducted a Delphi study to determine strategies to identify and treat patients with HCV and to develop through a shared pathway, a model to manage patient referral and optimize prescription center capacity with the overall aim of increasing access to therapy. Methods The process took place in two phases – Phase I (January 2017), before the criteria for treatment of HCV were revised and Phase II (May 2017) when AIFA developed a framework for the eradication of HCV infection in Italy. Two questionnaires were devised with Q1 administered in Phase I and Q2 in Phase II. Results Q1 was sent to 823 hepatitis specialists working in 235 Italian HCV centers authorized to prescribe direct-acting antiviral drugs (DAAs). Overall, 167 centers (71%) participated with a good geographical representativeness (North 69%, Centre 74%; South and islands 70%). 548 prescribers (68.8%) provided responses to Q1 and 443 (80%) specialists who responded to Q1 completed Q2. Over 70% considered that to meet the new therapy targets local/regional networks need to be consolidated and reinforced with GPs providing the 'missing link' in current regional networks. Adherence to therapy was considered important by 75% of clinicians with reduction in follow-up intervals/length considered important by 65% – to free up staff/resources to manage increasing numbers of new patients. About 80% of respondents stated that medical personnel were principally involved in follow-up with follow-up having a significant impact on center capacity. Conclusion Enhancing patient referral, the need for an increased role of GPs, increasing center capacity in particular medical personnel in outpatient centers and greater liaison between Hub centers and healthcare professionals currently managing high-risk groups as yet untreated, were factors that need to be streamlined in order to meet treatment targets for eradication of HCV

    Final results of the telaprevir access program: Fibroscan values predict safety and efficacy in hepatitis c patients with advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis

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    Background: Liver stiffness determined by transient elastography is correlated with hepatic fibrosis stage and has high accuracy for detecting severe fibrosis and cirrhosis in chronic hepatitis C patients. We evaluated the clinical value of baseline FibroScan values for the prediction of safety and efficacy of telaprevir-based therapy in patients with advanced fibrosis and cirrhosis in the telaprevir Early Access Program HEP3002. Methods: 1,772 patients with HCV-1 and bridging fibrosis or cirrhosis were treated with telaprevir plus pegylated interferon-α and ribavirin (PR) for 12 weeks followed by PR alone, the total treatment duration depending on virological response and previous response type. Liver fibrosis stage was determined either by liver biopsy or by non-invasive markers. 1,282 patients (72%) had disease stage assessed by FibroScan; among those 46% were classified as Metavir F3 at baseline and 54% as F4. Results: Overall, 1,139 patients (64%) achieved a sustained virological response (SVR) by intentionto- treat analysis. Baseline FibroScan values were tested for association with SVR and the occurrence of adverse events. By univariate analysis, higher baseline FibroScan values were predictive of lower sustained virological response rates and treatment-related anemia. By multivariate analysis, FibroScan was no longer statistically significant as an independent predictor, but higher FibroScan values were correlated with the occurrence of infections and serious adverse events. Conclusions: FibroScan has a limited utility as a predictor of safety and efficacy in patients treated with telaprevir-based triple therapy. Nevertheless it can be used in association with other clinical and biological parameters to help determine patients who will benefit from the triple regiments. © 2015 Lepida et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

    International therapeutic guidelines for patients with HCV-related extrahepatic disorders. A multidisciplinary expert statement

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    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is both hepatotrophic and lymphotropic virus that causes liver as well extrahepatic manifestations including cryoglobulinemic vasculitis, the most frequent and studied condition, lymphoma, and neurologic, cardiovascular, endocrine-metabolic or renal diseases. HCV-extrahepatic manifestations (HCV-EHMs) may severely affect the overall prognosis, while viral eradication significantly reduces non-liver related deaths. Different clinical manifestations may coexist in the same patient. Due to the variety of HCV clinical manifestations, a multidisciplinary approach along with appropriate therapeutic strategies are required. In the era of interferon-free anti-HCV treatments, international recommendations for the therapeutic management of HCV-EHMs are needed. This implies the need to define the best criteria to use antivirals and/or other therapeutic approaches. The present recommendations, based on qualified expert experience and specific literature, will focus on etiological (antiviral) therapies and/or traditional pathogenetic treatments that still maintain their therapeutic utility

    NS5A Resistance-Associated Substitutions in Patients with Genotype 1 Hepatitis C Virus:Prevalence and Effect on Treatment Outcome

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    Background & Aims The efficacy of NS5A inhibitors for the treatment of patients chronically infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) can be affected by the presence of NS5A resistance-associated substitutions (RASs). We analyzed data from 35 phase I, II, and III studies in 22 countries to determine the pretreatment prevalence of various NS5A RASs, and their effect on outcomes of treatment with ledipasvir-sofosbuvir in patients with genotype 1 HCV. Methods NS5A gene deep sequencing analysis was performed on samples from 5397 patients in Gilead clinical trials. The effect of baseline RASs on sustained virologic response (SVR) rates was assessed in the 1765 patients treated with regimens containing ledipasvir-sofosbuvir. Results Using a 15% cut-off, pretreatment NS5A and ledipasvir-specific RASs were detected in 13% and 8% of genotype 1a patients, respectively, and in 18% and 16% of patients with genotype 1b. Among genotype 1a treatment-naïve patients, SVR rates were 91% (42/46) vs. 99% (539/546) for those with and without ledipasvir-specific RASs, respectively. Among treatment-experienced genotype 1a patients, SVR rates were 76% (22/29) vs. 97% (409/420) for those with and without ledipasvir-specific RASs, respectively. Among treatment-naïve genotype 1b patients, SVR rates were 99% for both those with and without ledipasvir-specific RASs (71/72 vs. 331/334), and among treatment-experienced genotype 1b patients, SVR rates were 89% (41/46) vs. 98% (267/272) for those with and without ledipasvir-specific RASs, respectively. Conclusions Pretreatment ledipasvir-specific RASs that were present in 8–16% of patients have an impact on treatment outcome in some patient groups, particularly treatment-experienced patients with genotype 1a HCV. Lay summary The efficacy of treatments using NS5A inhibitors for patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection can be affected by the presence of NS5A resistance-associated substitutions (RASs). We reviewed results from 35 clinical trials where patients with genotype 1 HCV infection received treatments that included ledipasvir-sofosbuvir to determine how prevalent NS5A RASs are in patients at baseline, and found that ledipasvir-specific RASs were present in 8–16% of patients prior to treatment and had a negative impact on treatment outcome in subset of patient groups, particularly treatment-experienced patients with genotype 1a HCV

    The Italian Rare Pancreatic Exocrine Cancer Initiative

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    INTRODUCTION: Exocrine pancreatic cancers include common type pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and cystic neoplasms, which account for 85% and 10% of cases, respectively. The remaining 5% are rare histotypes, comprising adenosquamous carcinoma, acinar cell carcinoma, signet ring cell carcinoma, medullary carcinoma, pancreatoblastoma, hepatoid carcinoma, undifferentiated carcinoma and its variant with osteoclast-like giant cells, solid pseudopapillary carcinoma, and carcinosarcoma. Due to their low incidence, little knowledge is available on their clinical and molecular features as well as on treatment choices. The national initiative presented here aims at the molecular characterization of series of rare histotypes for which therapeutic and follow-up data are available. METHODS: A nationwide Italian Rare Pancreatic Cancer (IRaPaCa) task force whose first initiative is a multicentric retrospective study involving 21 Italian cancer centers to retrieve histologic material and clinical and treatment data of at least 100 patients with rare exocrine pancreatic cancers has been created. After histologic revision by a panel of expert pathologists, DNA and RNA from paraffin tissues will be investigated by next-generation sequencing using molecular pathway-oriented and immune-oriented mutational and expression profiling panels constructed availing of the information from the International Cancer Genome Consortium. Bioinformatic analysis of data will drive validation studies by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization, as well as nanostring assays. CONCLUSIONS: We expect to gather novel data on rare pancreatic cancer types that will be useful to inform the design of therapeutic choices

    Sofosbuvir and Velpatasvir for HCV Genotype 2 and 3 Infection

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    BACKGROUND: In phase 2 trials, treatment with the combination of the nucleotide polymerase inhibitor sofosbuvir and the NS5A inhibitor velpatasvir resulted in high rates of sustained virologic response in patients chronically infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 2 or 3. METHODS: We conducted two randomized, phase 3, open-label studies involving patients who had received previous treatment for HCV genotype 2 or 3 and those who had not received such treatment, including patients with compensated cirrhosis. In one trial, patients with HCV genotype 2 were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive sofosbuvir-velpatasvir, in a once-daily, fixed-dose combination tablet (134 patients), or sofosbuvir plus weight-based ribavirin (132 patients) for 12 weeks. In a second trial, patients with HCV genotype 3 were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive sofosbuvir-velpatasvir for 12 weeks (277 patients) or sofosbuvir-ribavirin for 24 weeks (275 patients). The primary end point for the two trials was a sustained virologic response at 12 weeks after the end of therapy. RESULTS: Among patients with HCV genotype 2, the rate of sustained virologic response in the sofosbuvir-velpatasvir group was 99% (95% confidence interval [CI], 96 to 100), which was superior to the rate of 94% (95% CI, 88 to 97) in the sofosbuvir-ribavirin group (P=0.02). Among patients with HCV genotype 3, the rate of sustained virologic response in the sofosbuvir-velpatasvir group was 95% (95% CI, 92 to 98), which was superior to the rate of 80% (95% CI, 75 to 85) in the sofosbuvir-ribavirin group (P CONCLUSIONS: Among patients with HCV genotype 2 or 3 with or without previous treatment, including those with compensated cirrhosis, 12 weeks of treatment with sofosbuvir-velpatasvir resulted in rates of sustained virologic response that were superior to those with standard treatment with sofosbuvir-ribavirin. (Funded by Gilead Sciences; ASTRAL-2 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02220998; and ASTRAL-3, NCT02201953.)
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