Infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a serious disease, but it is also curable. Left untreated, it can lead to cirrhosis (liver scarring), liver failure, and liver cancer. NewYork-Presbyterian is a leading center for the treatment and study of hepatitis C, with exceptional experience providing liver transplantation for people infected with HCV. You can receive the full range of care, including personalized medical therapy with the latest antiviral medications and monitoring. Our physicians have directed and participated in major studies that led to the development of the HCV therapies that are used today, as well as those evaluating new treatment regimens—both within and outside of the setting of liver transplantation.
A Team of Hepatitis C Experts
Your healthcare team includes hepatologists (liver doctors), infectious disease specialists, surgeons, nurses, physician assistants, psychiatrists, and others with experience caring for people with hepatitis C and other liver disorders. We understand the severity of this disease and the need to treat it as early as possible, along with follow-up care to ensure you stay healthy and prevent re-infection. Your team includes internationally renowned leaders in hepatitis C research, too, ensuring you are receiving the most up-to-date therapies available today. We are proud to have helped bring many new hepatitis C drugs into the clinical arena, where they are benefiting patients.
Hepatitis C Diagnosis
The diagnosis of hepatitis C can be made with a simple blood test. To examine the health of your liver, we may perform imaging tests, blood tests and take a sample of your liver tissue (liver biopsy). At NewYork-Presbyterian, we offer new imaging technologies using Fibroscan or Magnetic Resonance Elastography that enables us to assess the degree of scarring of your liver without having to do a liver biopsy.
Advancing Hepatitis C Treatment
The standard treatment for HCV used to be a combination of the antiviral drug ribavirin with pegylated interferon (a type of interferon designed to remain in the body longer). However, interferon causes significant side effects and wasn’t very effective at curing HCV.
Newer hepatitis C drugs developed in the last decade are associated with fewer side effects, are taken orally (by mouth), can often cure this viral infection (>95% chance of cure for most patients), and have dramatically changed the way we treat hepatitis C today. All of these drug regimens avoid the need for interferon entirely. NewYork-Presbyterian physicians were leaders in the clinical trials that ultimately led to the approval of sofosbuvir (a "nucleotide polymerase inhibitor”), one of the first oral medications approved by the FDA, and continue to participate in trials with newer medications, including therapies to treat patients who have failed previous treatments.
Our physicians have exceptional experience in the use of all the currently approved antiviral drugs in patients with all genotypes of hepatitis C and degrees of liver disease, including treatment before and after liver transplantation. The drugs that are best for you will depend on the “genotype” of your HCV infection (the subtype you have), your treatment history, and your liver health. Your healthcare team will assess you carefully and recommend the drugs that are likely to be most effective for you, providing monitoring and counseling throughout your treatment and beyond.
Surveillance to Detect Liver Cancer Early
The most common causes of primary liver cancer are chronic infection with the hepatitis B and C viruses, excessive alcohol consumption, and fatty liver disease. NewYork-Presbyterian has a strong surveillance program for people at risk of liver cancer, particularly those with chronic hepatitis B or hepatitis C, with the hope of detecting the disease in its early, more curable stages.
Liver Transplantation for Hepatitis C
NewYork-Presbyterian's Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation excels in providing liver transplantation to people with HCV and has more clinical experience caring for these patients than most hospitals. These individuals require careful monitoring and care, since the immunosuppressive drugs they take after the transplant increase the risk of recurrent HCV disease in the new liver. We have a distinguished track record for liver transplantation and a multidisciplinary team of world-renowned leaders in the field.
Hepatitis C Clinical Trials
NewYork-Presbyterian investigators are leading studies of highly promising targeted HCV medications to improve the cure rate for people with various types of hepatitis C. You may have an opportunity to participate in a clinical trial of a promising new therapy.
- Center for the Study of Hepatitis C. NewYork-Presbyterian also participates in the Center for the Study of Hepatitis C, a collaborative research and treatment partnership comprised of physicians and researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College, The Rockefeller University, and NewYork-Presbyterian. The Center participates in many clinical trials and has a serum and tissue repository, and a database with blood and liver samples from over 1,500 people.