Within less than a decade, the treatment of hepatitis C has undergone a revolution. Sustained virologic response rates increased from suboptimal to above 95%, while treatment durations declined from 48–72 weeks to 8–12 weeks. Most impressively, this ground-breaking progress was accompanied by a massive reduction in treatment-associated side effects.
For many years, most papers on hepatitis C dealt with the step-by-step improvement of antiviral therapies, first introducing direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) in combination with peginterferon-alfa and later as interferon-free combination therapies. Nowadays the major topics are regional and global elimination strategies. From the societal perspective, HCV elimination is indeed the key topic. Nevertheless, from an individual patient's and physician's perspective several specific topics remain relevant and clinically important.
The Editors of Journal of Hepatology therefore considered a series of concise reviews on such specific topics timely and of interest to our readers. The spectrum of discussed topics will range from hepatic and extrahepatic benefits of HCV cure, the management of HCV in pregnant women, to potential risks of liver disease after viral eradication and treatment-related questions in patients with end-stage liver disease.
This miniseries will also cover important topics linked to HCV-associated hepatocellular carcinoma, such as surveillance strategies and the potential benefits of treatment in patients at advanced stages of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Two other reviews will cover rare HCV genotypes/subtypes and their potential resistance to current DAA regimens and the rare, but still existent, treatment failures on current DAA regimens and the selection of resistance-associated variants.
Transplantation of HCV-positive organs to HCV-negative patients has emerged as a viable possibility in transplant medicine which will also be covered. Last, but not least, we still do not give up on the idea of an effective HCV vaccine and will cover this topic in a dedicated review. We hope the readers of the Journal of Hepatology will enjoy and appreciate the upcoming HCV miniseries.
© 2020 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.