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Prospective Clinical Study of the Role of the Immune Response, in Relation to Diet, in Patients Affected by Either Chronic Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infection or Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT02038387
Recruitment Status : Unknown
Verified January 2014 by Prof. Clara Balsano, University of Roma La Sapienza.
Recruitment status was:  Recruiting
First Posted : January 16, 2014
Last Update Posted : January 16, 2014
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Prof. Clara Balsano, University of Roma La Sapienza

Brief Summary:

Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are characterized by a spectrum of pathological conditions ranging from an early stage of inflammation and fibrosis up to more advanced disease conditions, such as hepatocellular carcinoma. The prevalence of NAFLD is between 10 and 25% of the population, with large differences in age and ethnic groups, while it is well known that HCV infection is a major cause of chronic liver disease in Western countries.

For both diseases the progression of liver damage is in close correlation with the lifestyle of patients (eg., nutrition, physical activity, ingestion of alcohol, etc.). In fact, it was shown that feeding imbalances may have implications in altering the normal immune functions of the subjects, suggesting that the metabolic and the immune systems are closely related to each other. Although it is well known the negative role of obesity on the progression of NAFLD and HCV liver diseases, the pathogenic mechanism underlying the alterations related to the immune response is not yet fully understood. Insulin resistance, altered lipid metabolism, lipid peroxidation, oxidative stress and mitochondrial alterations are pathogenic mechanisms that induce liver damage and its progression, both in NAFLD and in HCV infection.

Recent studies suggest that the evolution of viral infections and chronic inflammation in NAFLD are deeply influenced by CD4+ T helper cells expressing IL-17 , defined as T helper 17 (Th17) cells. Broadening the knowledge on the role of diet in the course of NAFLD and HCV infection in the activation of Th17 cells and in the alteration of some of their functions, will allow to shed light on the pathogenic mechanisms underlying the progression of immune-mediated diseases. Moreover, this investigation will allow to understand whether Th17 cells may have a role in the diminished response to therapy in patients who have high cholesterol levels.

If the results will confirm our hypothesis, this study will provide useful informations for the clinical management of patients with both steatosis and chronic HCV infection. The data obtained can also be used for the development of new therapeutic strategies directed to modulate the antiviral immune response.

All patients will undergo clinical and instrumental assessment depending on the type of pathology. Patients will be required to follow a normocaloric low cholesterol diet for a period of 30 days.

The prospective clinical study does not present any form of additional risk for the patients and will be conducted in accordance with the principles established by the Declaration of Helsinki and with the standards of Good Clinical Practice (GCP). The study does not require any additional costs.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Behavioral: normocaloric low cholesterol diet Not Applicable

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 60 participants
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Prospective Clinical Study on the Role of the Immune Response, in Relation to Diet, in Patients With Either Chronic Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infection or Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). Director Prof. V. Barnaba, Head of Internal Medicine; Principal Investigator, Prof. C. Balsano
Study Start Date : July 2012
Actual Primary Completion Date : December 2013

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Diet Behavioral: normocaloric low cholesterol diet

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Evaluation of the immune Th17 mediated cell response modulation in subjects with chronic HCV infection vs NAFLD subjects administered with a 30-day low cholesterol diet [ Time Frame: Th17 immune response and other liver indices were assessed at baseline and after 30 days of diet. Participants were weekly, up to 4 weeks, followed to assess their adherence. ]
    Evaluation of the immune Th17 mediated cell response was assessed at baseline and after 30 days by diet administration

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   40 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • chronic HCV infection or NAFLD

Exclusion Criteria:

  • any pharmacological treatment at least 6 months before entering the study, liver cirrhosis, co-infection by hepatitis B virus, or human immunodeficiency virus infections, autoimmune diseases, and other relevant associated-diseases such as decompensated diabetes, kidney diseases, pulmonary diseases, tumors.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT02038387

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Contact: Vincenzo Barnaba, MD +39-064453994

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Departemnt of Internal Medicine, La Sapienza University Recruiting
Rome, Italy, 00161
Contact: Vincenzo Barnaba, MD    +39-064453994   
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Roma La Sapienza
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Study Chair: Clara Balsano, MD University of Roma La Sapienza

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Prof. Clara Balsano, Prospective clinical study on the role of the immune response, in relation to diet, in patients affected by either chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection or non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), University of Roma La Sapienza Identifier: NCT02038387     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 717/12
First Posted: January 16, 2014    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: January 16, 2014
Last Verified: January 2014
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Hepatitis A
Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C, Chronic
Hepatitis, Chronic
Liver Diseases
Fatty Liver
Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Digestive System Diseases
Hepatitis, Viral, Human
Virus Diseases
Enterovirus Infections
Picornaviridae Infections
RNA Virus Infections
Flaviviridae Infections