Immune Response to Hepatitis C Virus
The purpose of the study is to investigate the immune response to hepatitis C virus to determine why some people clear the virus and others develop chronic infection. Changes in immune response once hepatitis C therapy is begun will also be examined. If patients are also HIV+, the effect of antiretroviral therapy on the recovery of hepatitis C immunity will be investigated.
|Official Title:||Immunologic Determinants of Hepatitis C Virus Infection Resolution or Persistence|
|Study Start Date:||September 2005|
|Primary Completion Date:||September 2005 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
We will analyze the peripheral (blood) and intrahepatic (liver) immune response in hepatitis C infection in patients with clear hepatitis C infection and those who develop chronic infection. We hope to determine immune responses that are important for eliminating the infection. Currently, the treatments for hepatitis C are not effective for everyone. For those patients enrolled who begin hepatitis C treatment, we will evaluate the immune system of people who respond compared to those who do not respond. If the patient is HIV positive, the change in hepatitis C immune response once various HIV medicines (antiretrovirals) are started will also be examined. Any treatment for hepatitis C or HIV will be determined by the patient's primary physician and will not be affected by enrollment in the study.
Blood samples of ~70 cc will be obtained no more than once per week. Patients who begin hepatitis C therapy or antiretroviral therapy if HIV coinfected will provide serial specimens for examination. Patients who undergo liver biopsy as a part of their routine hepatitis care will provide a sample for further studies of the immune response to see if it is different in the liver compared to the blood.