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Nanoparticle Completely Eradicates Hepatitis C Virus

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the except-for-the-few-I-take-home-to-experiment dept.

Medicine 104

Diggester writes "While Americans worry every year about getting a flu shot or preventing HIV/AIDS, the deadlier silent killer is actually Hepatitis C, killing over 15,000 people yearly in the U.S. since 2007 — and the numbers continue to increase as the carriers increase in age. While there is no vaccine, there is hope in nanoparticle technology. The breakthrough came from a group of researchers at the University of Florida, creating a 'nanozyme' that eliminates the Hep C 100% of the time; before now, the six-month treatment would only work about half the time. The particles are coated with two biological agents, the identifier and the destroyer; the identifier recognizes the virus and sends the destroyer off to eliminate the mRNA which allows Hep C to replicate." Reader Joiseybill adds a link to coverage in the IEEE Spectrum, and points out that the 100 percent success rate, while encouraging, is so far only in the lab.

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Deadlier? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40735015)

"While Americans worry every year about getting a flu shot or preventing HIV/AIDS, the deadlier silent killer is actually Hepatitis C, killing over 15,000 ..."

The flu kills each year an average number of 25000-36000 people in the US, depending on the statistics.
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/us_flu-related_deaths.htm [cdc.gov]

Re:Deadlier? (5, Informative)

ketamine-bp (586203) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735049)

the deal with these is that flu, pneumonia and perhaps urinary tract infection is almost always the presentation of the patient in the death episode. it's not fair comparing it to flu. Among those who died of flu, it is rather rare to find a person who enjoyed relatively good past health and is young.

Hepatitis C (and hepatitis B), on the other hand, leads to cirrhosis, hepatocellular cellular carcinoma and liver failure. It is exactly one of those diseases which will cause deterioration of the patient's health to such extent that a flu could kill.

It is rather unfair to compare Hep C to Flu in terms of mortality.

Re:Deadlier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40735215)

Sometimes this function completely fails, and there's nothing you can do about it!

Re:Deadlier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40735235)

"It is rather unfair to compare Hep C to Flu in terms of mortality."

Tell that to the author. I just pointed out the very same thing.

Re:Deadlier? (4, Informative)

durrr (1316311) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735371)

Hepatitis viral infections are also not self-limiting, hep C is pretty ugly too in that it limits transplant options(read; hep c = no transplants for you) which can be a pretty shitty situation for kidney transplant candidates that can get infected by dialysis catethers and whatnot and be excluded from the queue.

Hep B is pretty nasty too, hard to treat, survives well in the outside environment and about as virulent as a cat video on youtube.

Re:Deadlier? (1)

ketamine-bp (586203) | more than 2 years ago | (#40743769)

hepatitis B is now quite treatable. resistance since the introduction of entacavir and adefovir is very low. cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma is now considered preventable with these therapy. the problem is the access to medication in the far east.

the virulence of hepatitis B is quite low in terms of environmental source. it is primarily transmitted by body fluid transmission.

Re:Deadlier? (1)

etinin (1144011) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735885)

There's always morbidity.

Re:Deadlier? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735197)

No no, people are afraid the flu shots will kill them.

Re:Deadlier? (0)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735259)

I know someone who stopped getting flu shots after three years in a row they got sick for two weeks with full-blow flu symptoms. I'm sure they're a corner case.

Re:Deadlier? (0)

todrules (882424) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735457)

That's why I stopped taking them. I figured if I get a flu shot, there's a 100% chance I'll come down with the flu, or if I don't get a flu shot, there's at least a less than 100% chance I'll get the flu.

Re:Deadlier? (2)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40737401)

Likewise. Getting a flu shot makes me feel terrible for a week, and I've yet (knock on wood) to get it since I stopped getting the shots.

Re:Deadlier? (3, Interesting)

RenderSeven (938535) | more than 2 years ago | (#40737157)

Try the nose drops [cdc.gov] . I've had similar experience with the shots but very good results with the drops.

Re:Deadlier? (5, Insightful)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735327)

"While Americans worry every year about getting a flu shot or preventing HIV/AIDS, the deadlier silent killer is actually Hepatitis C, killing over 15,000 ..."

The flu kills each year an average number of 25000-36000 people in the US, depending on the statistics.
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/us_flu-related_deaths.htm [cdc.gov]

the flu kills more then terrorist, yet we spend more money defending against terrorist.

wtf?

Re:Deadlier? (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735373)

Things like the Flu, and even the common cold, rarely kill directly. It normally exaccerbates existing conditions by weakening the body and allowing said existing conditions to worsen.

My uncle died of liver failure, but he contracted MRSA while in hospital, and while it was the liver that gave in, the MRSA caused him to deteriorate rapidly.

Flu (be it seasonal or one of these 'super flus'), MRSA and colds rarely kill on their own.

If all you have is Hep C, yeah, you're in trouble.

Re:Deadlier? (2, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735393)

It's the military industrial complex. Terrorism gives them an excuse to exist and siphon off tax dollars. Force all arms manufacturers to be not-for-profit companies, and your terrorism threat will vanish like a juice stain in an informercial.

Re:Deadlier? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40736167)

So where's Big Pharma? They should be out-competing the MIC for these tax dollars using these statistics!

Re:Deadlier? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#40738661)

How does curing disease satisfy the libido dominandi?

Re:Deadlier? (1)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735559)

More interestingly, if the terrorists attacked solely critical care centres and retirement homes the outcry would most likely be greater. But flu works exactly the opposite (it gets less attention because it mostly kills those groups).

I'm not going either direction here, I don't care enough about other people to give a damn which is the "correct" attitude. I just find it quite interesting.

Stop thinking! (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#40739671)

There is only doom the way you are going. Stop hinking now, and we may keep our cars. You know, everybody loves cars (to the point of insisting to spend endless hours inside them every day), and if you go that way, well, you'll discover that we should stop spending money on the death machines^W^W i mean... cars.

Also, everybody knows that cars are the single product that moves the economy nowadays. If we stopped manufacturing them, unenployment would rise to unprecedented levels (by the way, did you already throwed a stone in your windows today? You know, you have a duty to make the economy grow), and everybody will become poor.

So, for everybody's sake, stop thinking!

Re:Deadlier? (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40736385)

And how many people get the flu vs Hep C? More people die of heart disease than gunshots each year too but I wouldn't call a cheesburger more deadly than a bullet!

Easy (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40735017)

the 100 percent success rate, while encouraging, is so far only in the lab

So take everyone to the lab for treatment. Duh.

Re:Easy (4, Funny)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40736001)

Only if you're at risk. As this is a sexually transmitted disease and this is Slashdot...

Re:Easy (-1, Troll)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 2 years ago | (#40736707)

As this is a sexually transmitted disease

It's only sexually transmitted if one of the people was shooting up.

Which begs the question, other than for people who get Hep C through transfusions, why are we worried about this if the only ones who will really benefit are drug users? They have a choice not to shoot up but chose to continue on their path.

Apparently personal responsibility isn't in vogue any more.

Re:Easy (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40736953)

Excuse me, but not all needle users are junkies. Tainted blood supplies in the early 70's gave it to me. I hope this "cure" is gentler than Interon+ribaviron.

Re:Easy (4, Insightful)

robably (1044462) | more than 2 years ago | (#40737117)

why are we worried about this if the only ones who will really benefit are drug users?

What a cunt. They're human beings.

You think people who take drugs don't deserve to live? Fine. Go and live in a world without all the music, books and films created by drug users. No more Rolling Stones for you. No more Burroughs. No more Blake or Shelley. No Hunter S Thompson. No Carl Sagan. None of the beauty and insights and technical leaps forward that people who take drugs have given the world.

In fact, no more computers for you. Piss off.

Re:Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40738529)

Not only that, but tainted blood donations and having sex with Tommy Lee will give you HepC.

Agreed, Poster was Being a cunt.

Re:Easy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40742099)

And what about doctor's who are working on a hep C patient who are exposed to the virus? Guess we should just let them die, too. Serves them right for trying to help a 'druggie'.

Re:Easy (2)

muridae (966931) | more than 2 years ago | (#40738459)

It's only sexually transmitted if one of the people was shooting up.

Allow me to add: fuck you.

The only needles I ever had in my veins were in the hospital, and unless they were shooting me up with heroin in used needles at age 2, your drug use reference is insulting, wrong, and simply moronic.

Realize this: until the 1989, Hep C wasn't even a recognized virus; at least as far as the patient was concerned. The diagnosis was viral non-A non-B hepatitis. Whether it was even contagious, or how it was transmitted other than blood-to-blood was not known; how long you were infectious wasn't know; whether the virus was only there when symptoms were apparent or whether it stayed active but hidden wasn't really known. I don't even have a blood transfusion on record, clean family all around, and somehow still managed to contract it as a child. Mid-90s they developed a PCR test that could tell you that you had it. And then they learned that not all non-A non-B was C viral (see Hep-D and Hep-E, GBvirusC). See this article [springerlink.com] from two years ago to see that in 20% of cases, the source of infection isn't even known!

So, in conclusion, piss off wanker

Re:Easy (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#40739769)

If hepatitis C is a sexually transmitted disease, then I should have contracted it -- a woman I was dating about 5 years ago had it. Unlike the other two forms of hepatitis, C is very hard to catch. Usually it comes from dirty needles, a woman can get it from anal sex (yuck).

Re:Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40740843)

It can be contracted Honestly from Plain old sex, It's just very unlikely. If I remember, less that 5% chance. I still don't like those odds.

Re:Easy (1)

Narnie (1349029) | more than 2 years ago | (#40736007)

Pamela Anderson is back on the bang list!

Re:Easy (1)

Stormalong (36874) | more than 2 years ago | (#40736163)

One of my favourite bits from QI:

Alan Davies: Eight hundred Americans die in a McDonald's every year.
Rich Hall: Which one? Best to avoid that one.

mice or men (5, Funny)

mynamestolen (2566945) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735019)

would have been nice for mice to be mentioned in the summary since it appears only to apply to them. lucky dogs

Re:mice or men (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40735409)

No, lucky MICE.

Re:mice or men (2)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735429)

would have been nice for mice to be mentioned in the summary since it appears only to apply to them. lucky dogs

Lucky dogs??!?! How would you like your assigned tasks from your boss to consist of:
 
1. Get infected with contagious disease
2. Try out some cures to see if they work
3. ????
4. Profit! (well - for your boss that is)

Re:mice or men (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40752007)

would have been nice for mice to be mentioned in the summary since it appears only to apply to them. lucky dogs

To revise the parent's suggested task list to achieve this status:

1. Get infected with contagious disease

2. Try out some cures to see if they work

3. ????

4. Turn into a dog (and get lucky)

Re:mice or men (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40735647)

Amazing. I had a dream about this woman last night. Pamela Anderson. I'm hedging she going to be doable again real soon.

A cure will never be FDA approved (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40735027)

A cure will never be approved by FDA et al. A cure brings less income than a life-long treatment plan. A cure must be avoided. I am sure this will prove to be considered a too "risky" treatment (as opposed to dying of HepC?) and it will never be approved.

However a 97% effective life-long treatment will be "safe" and approved.

Re:A cure will never be FDA approved (3, Informative)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735099)

That is a cynical idea, ok drug companies might prefer long term treatments to cures. But for insurance companies and nationalised health care systems cost is more important.

luckily the FDA can only rule on drugs for Americans in the USA. In Ireland I got prescribed a drug treatment here that was approved eventually by the FDA. I'm very happy for it being available to me sooner rather than later, and i am sure Americans are now seeing the benefits now they can have it too.

Re:A cure will never be FDA approved (4, Funny)

durrr (1316311) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735385)

Dress up like a horse and go to a vet and you can get gene therapy and stem cells treatments.

Re:A cure will never be FDA approved (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40738103)

But if the treatment fails you get shot.

Re:A cure will never be FDA approved (2)

ewieling (90662) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735717)

That is a cynical idea, ok drug companies might prefer long term treatments to cures. But for insurance companies and nationalised health care systems cost is more important.

Maybe health insurance companies should start buying pharma companies? That might change a few things.

Re:A cure will never be FDA approved (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40738301)

If insurance companies owned pharma companies. You might find a particular drug is only available to people on that insurance companies plans or maybe available at an inflated price.

Insurance companies are not in the business of helping anyone. Every claim is a loss to them. You would need a non-profit company or state funded pharma, not impossible in some parts of the world but maybe illegal if the recent story where the NSA might be in trouble for developing their own software is illegal, then it's highly likely that there is similar provisions for the development of drugs.
 

Re:A cure will never be FDA approved (-1, Redundant)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735141)

I think this is very promising as a discovery and hopefully works to cure HepC in humans, but I too doubt it will ever see the light of day if it works. The healthcare industry in the US has far too much at stake to start allowing cures rather than expensive treatments that take a liftetime of purchasing drugs instead. I have no faith in the pharmaceutical industry in general.

Re:A cure will never be FDA approved (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735607)

Well if one of the pharma-mega-corps has the patents on the HepC treatment and a different company comes up with the cure...they'd love to make some money and cut off a competitor's money supply wouldn't they?

Re:A cure will never be FDA approved (1, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735229)

However a 97% effective life-long treatment will be "safe" and approved.

Reduce the dosage until its only 97% effective, then rinse -n- repeat every 6 months or whatever as the virus regains a foothold.

Its a recipe for developing treatment resistance, but that just means more R+D profit, so...

Remember homeopathic stuff doesn't work. At some dilution the treatment effectiveness will drop from 100% to 97%.

Also you can mix stuff in as a "manufacturing byproduct" if necessary to encourage long term treatment WRT the byproducts. Maybe lead or mercury resulting in semi-permanent long term IV EDTA therapy.

An alternative is to engage the finance department with a fairly trivial question, "Assume a monthly symptomatic treatment income of $500/month is obtainable... what would it cost to purchase a lifetime annuity yielding $500/month? Oh, $X you say? Well we can price the one time cure at $X*1.1 and it'll be all good"

That industry might be corrupt and evil. But they're (unfortunately) not stupid. We're not dealing with real estate agents or used car salesmen here.

Re:A cure will never be FDA approved (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735263)

The problem there is that after a few rounds you're producing virii which are immune to the treatment, which rapidly becomes worthless.

Re:A cure will never be FDA approved (1)

rufty_tufty (888596) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735439)

The problem there is that after a few rounds you're producing virii which are immune to the treatment, which rapidly becomes worthless.

Would this not be like evolving a virus that is immune to bleach or autoclaves?
i.e. because it is attacking the RNA itself you would just alter the code that the marker is searching for?

Re:A cure will never be FDA approved (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40736213)

Good point, it would all come down to how easy it is to adapt the marker/killer code.

Re:A cure will never be FDA approved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40737927)

Your points seem interesting. Based on your comment, I presume that you don't choose to allow yourself or your children to be vaccinated.

Vaccines couple all the evils of big pharma with all the evils of government.

Keep spreading the good word: hopefully, we will be able to stop the tide of the fascists who are attempting to make vaccination mandatory. If you don't own your own body (eg. able to decide/control what is injected into it), then what freedoms do you really have?

Re:A cure will never be FDA approved (3, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735433)

Which is why if you really want first class medical treatment you don't get it in the USA. Even routine things such as stitches at the hospital can easily run you $500 without insurance in the US at even a bottom-barrel hospital. Go to Mexico at a top-tier, first class hospital and you can get your hand stitched up for under $50 without insurance.

Not to mention that nearly every other country (even including those in Europe!) have more access to cutting edge treatments.

Unfortunately, most Americans won't think to really look abroad because they think that the US is the most advanced nation in the world and that they can really get the best care there.

Re:A cure will never be FDA approved (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40735561)

Same here in Canada. We're taught from an early age that we have the best health care system in the world, and everyone here believes it.

I'll keep this short, but we had a baby here in Canada and then we had our second child in Mexico, both were Cesarean. The care we received in Mexico was 100 times better than what we got in Canada. No waiting, no crappy attitude from nurses and doctors.. We had complications here in Canada but not in Mexico, and I believe that's due to a better doctor doing a more careful job. Not to mention the hospital was like a 5 star hotel, with a private room, big screen tv, etc.

You pay for the service there, but it's a real eye opener to realize how crappy our health care system is back home in comparison. So much for 1st world vs 3rd world.

Re:A cure will never be FDA approved (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735629)

Yep, its really depressing the level of service you get compared to the money you pay in the US, and I'm really not sure why. I don't know if it is the insurance mentality (I don't really have to pay this bill, my insurance will cover it) or whether its the lack of competition or something else. But hospitals (and even doctors offices) in the US are traditionally depressing and crappy. You get next to no service, you're lucky if you get a private room, they are often dirty, and the only amenities you get are free wi-fi (if you're lucky) and a tiny CRT television with a handful of channels.

Re:A cure will never be FDA approved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40735797)

Wow, I thought it would be better in the US since it's privatized. Here in Canada the doctors have an attitude that they get paid the same no matter what happens, and if you're not happy, there is a waiting list of patients, so they don't care if you leave. I thought privatization would help with this attitude (they have to earn your money), but maybe not!

Re:A cure will never be FDA approved (1)

pnutjam (523990) | more than 2 years ago | (#40738993)

Maybe in a rural setting, if you are in a larger city with some competition between hospitals, rooms can be very nice. We have 3 major hospitals in our area and while one appears to have a culture that encourages shortcuts and crappy service, the other two give excellent care.

Re:A cure will never be FDA approved (1)

jxander (2605655) | more than 2 years ago | (#40736493)

At least you have options with visible tradeoffs. You can get the free treatment at home, though the quality will suffer, or you can get expensive treatment abroad, and the quality will be higher, but so will the price tag and travel costs (not to mention the viability of traveling via plane if you're going into labor/labour)

Here in the US, the default option is expensive, poorly staffed, and the work is mediocre. Not much of an "Option A"

Re:A cure will never be FDA approved (2)

Dixie_Flatline (5077) | more than 2 years ago | (#40741703)

I read an article that said the worst thing that ever happened to Canadian health care was for us to be situated next to the USA. Our system is leaps and bounds ahead of theirs, but because that's the metric by which we compare everything, we end up with a lousier system than somewhere like Mexico, or what they have in Scandinavia.

A friend of mine went to Holland to visit family. For her to get an ultrasound booked (because her family can't be back in Canada for the birth) was faster and cheaper in Holland--where she doesn't have insurance--than it would be here. AND when they found out that she was in from Canada, they threw in some freebie scans. Just like that.

I appreciate our system, I really do. It's taken care of me in some bad accidents, and when my family has had trouble (cancer, old age, heart disease) they've gotten really good care, without the rest of the family worrying about how we're going to live while paying for treatment. But being better than a place that has so many demonstrable, objective deficiencies doesn't make our system the best.

Re:A cure will never be FDA approved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40736333)

Um, ok. I'll fly to Mexico ($600) just to save $450 on stitches.

Re:A cure will never be FDA approved (1)

RobNich (85522) | more than 2 years ago | (#40737813)

I got three stitches in a hospital 2 years ago. $2,000 with insurance discount (without reaching my deductible). And afaik there's no way to shop around for a cheap hospital, they don't post prices.

Dental tourism (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40737285)

It goes for dental work too. If you need something particularly expensive, like a dental immplant, you could save money doing it in Barbados rather than the U.S. even with the airfare and hotel bill. (And yes, they have good dentistry there.)

Re:Dental tourism (1)

jaymemaurice (2024752) | more than 2 years ago | (#40746193)

But don't you worry they'll just put you out and steal your kidney?!

Re:Dental tourism (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40748789)

Actually, having lived both in the U.S. and in the Caribbean, I think there are more thieves in the American healthcare system.

Re:A cure will never be FDA approved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40742499)

Whats funny is that they probably bill $500 but would only get back 100 or so from the insurance company. Of course you can't yourself pay less without going round after round with the hospital. There is something of a movement in the past decade towards private practice... Basically doctors that do not accept insurance and do not have to worry about employing 4 other people to handle their billing. They list their prices and you know going in what everything will cost. You would think this would be more popular among the upper class but strangely their prices are often competitive enough that patients with insurance choose to pay out of pocket. I'm not saying its the solution to everything but it seems like it might be at least a major part of the solution.

Why was parent poster modded down? (1)

zapyon (575974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40740005)

He describes perfectly well what will be going on behind the scenes. People who used to work for big pharmaceutical industries are working in the FDA and former FDA people are working in the industry. So a cure has only got a chance if a big industry player can profit from it - and more than they could from providing life-long treatment.

It is wonderful, but it's only in mice (4, Insightful)

ketamine-bp (586203) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735035)

Well, there are more than a hundred discoveries like these that demonstrated effectiveness of curing the uncurables in the past decade. Of those which went through the testing in man, well, maybe 2 or 3...

Back then, avastin, glivec and so on were expected to be magical cures for cancers.. now they exist only as expensive life-prolonging (with or without quality) therapy and only for those who are rich.

Re:It is wonderful, but it's only in mice (3, Informative)

gpmanrpi (548447) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735223)

Gleevac (Imatinib) makes Ph+ CML a manageable livable Chronic Disease, instead of dying very rapidly. While it is expensive and "life-prolonging," it is very life-prolonging. And there are other TKIs that can now be taken if there is drug-resistance. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discovery_and_development_of_Bcr-Abl_tyrosine_kinase_inhibitors [wikipedia.org] Many of these drugs are in Phase II trials. The problem is that articles in Time about Imatinib or in TFA about a PNAS journal article, show the sensationalist nature of health and science reporting. But, you read slashdot so you already know that.

Re:It is wonderful, but it's only in mice (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735303)

His point about those treatments being "only for the rich" still holds though.

Re:It is wonderful, but it's only in mice (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40735495)

Only for the rich or those who live in a country with universal healthcare.

Re:It is wonderful, but it's only in mice (1)

ketamine-bp (586203) | more than 2 years ago | (#40743843)

depending on where the patient live, depending on whether they got insurance, depending on their insurance coverage,
they can now choose

(1) to die now and leave a fortune to their wife, sons and daughters
(2) to die later and leave everyone broke

and that is a difficult question. when i worked back then as a junior doctor in an oncology center, they had trouble buying those "expensive" "next generation" chemotherapy which may last a few cycle (only), which was already a money hog to the family... now they have to buy it for years.

imagine the difficulty. there are still quite a number of countries where health insurance is not common and/or insurance company are not covering these type of drugs....

as for the new TKIs, i think they will only be more expensive. give it another 20-30 years, when the patents expire, then we can talk again on this...

Re:It is wonderful, but it's only in mice (2)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735277)

The difference here is the buzz word nano. If the new treatment is a true nano cure, then the difference between this and the old "magical cures" would be the difference between using a drone strike to target the headquarters of a terrorist group versus bombing the village where the headquarters happen to be found.

Re:It is wonderful, but it's only in mice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40744417)

No, it isn't. Nanotech is not necessarily more precise than "conventional" therapies. All of these rely on limited chemical signaling to "target" their payloads. The question is what those signals are and how unique they are to that condition. Showing that Virus Q has chemical components which "bind" with nano-recognizer R is not sufficient. You need to show that many obscure-yet-important pathways in healthy human tissue also do not "bind" with R. There are an incredible number of human tissues to test plus genetic and other variations that drive slight chemical variations in the components of human tissue. These combinations multiply so you get an incredible variety of reactions you'd have to check to prove that R is harmless. So many in fact that we can't reasonably check for them all and most initially promising ideas cannot be made into viable treatments.

Re:It is wonderful, but it's only in mice (1)

Pigeon451 (958201) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735979)

Mod parent up. I've seen countless reports of drugs or techniques that work in immuno-compromised mice or other animals that fail to work when translated to human trials, or worse, cannot be replicated by other labs.

This report, while interesting, is not news -- it's a stepping stone to gain further funding by the researchers for the next step. Once this works decently in humans, then we have a story...

Someone is censoring slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40735069)

And it's happening right now:

http://slashdot.org/submission/2173313/someone-is-censoring-slashdot
http://cryptome.org/2012/07/gent-forum-spies.htm

Forum slide, as described there, just happened on firehose, and now it's down...

Re:Someone is censoring slashdot (0)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735113)

Didn't read your rants. I'll assume they're the same ones as last week.

On behalf of Slashdot, I'd like to let you know the feelings of the posters:

Fuck off.

Forums slide because of ACs like yourself. There's rarely a good reason to go full AC on here.

100% ?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40735083)

subject those cells to some radioactive material. that'll kill them too. doesn't mean it's safe or remotely useful.

Re:100% ?!?! (4, Interesting)

TummyX (84871) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735137)

Duh. The test on rats so far showed no side-effects which makes it better than radiation or incinerating the rats to kill the virus.

Re:100% ?!?! (4, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735145)

But it uses the word "nano" so it must work.

Re:100% ?!?! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40735179)

I wish people would get that chemistry != nanotechnology.

Our world is filled with nanoscale molecules, including many that we designed and created, but the word "nanotechnology" was specifically coined to describe building things by the manipulation of individual atoms.

Re:100% ?!?! (2)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735543)

I wish people would get that chemistry != nanotechnology.

Our world is filled with nanoscale molecules, including many that we designed and created, but the word "nanotechnology" was specifically coined to describe building things by the manipulation of individual atoms.

Unless you count crystals like diamond as one big molecule... I am pretty sure every molecule is nanoscale. Even . [wikipedia.org]

Re:100% ?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40739381)

Unless you count crystals like diamond as one big molecule... I am pretty sure every molecule is nanoscale. Even [Titin].

Sure. Technically everything is nanoscale if you measure it in nanometers. :)

The point being, we can create custom molecules by chemistry rather than nanotechnology. To its credit, the summary didn't use the term "nanotechnology" but someone tagged the story with it.

Re:100% ?!?! (2)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735275)

Add "on the internet" and they can patent it with no questions asked.

Wait a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40735139)

Wasn't this the plot to "I am Legend"?

Success Rate (5, Informative)

kjshark (312401) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735175)

The previous treatment with ribavirin and interferon for one year had a 50% success rate. The newer six month treatment with the addition of Incivek for three months has over 75% rate. Since Incivek has only been on the market for about a year, that success rate is not as precise as it will be.

Re:Success Rate (2)

muridae (966931) | more than 2 years ago | (#40738689)

Depends on the viral genetics. Type 1 is harder to cure, but most prevalent in the USA. Then a specific pattern inside the type (pair of codons in the DNA, either TC, CT, TT, or CC) can make it harder or easier to cure. Type 1 A has something above 50% success rate with the new three drug treatment, I've been told up to 75% after 6 months (as you mentioned) but with the possibility of knowing if it will work after 2. The viral load reduces by at least log2 at 2 months if it is going to respond well. Other genotypes respond much better, with one (i think 3 or 4) having a response rate over 90% to just interferon.

Re:Success Rate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40741289)

Type 1A is a major bitch to kill.

The mother of my wife got it in a blood transfusion, > 35 years ago in Brazil. She's been through an one-year Interferon peg + ribavirin that depleted the virus down to undetectability (and she took two extra months of the full treatment to boot, something that drove her doctor entirely nuts due to the damage that thing does to your entire system), but the infection was back 6 months later. A second treatment, using interferon peg from the second vendor (there are apparently just two in the world or something, and they're not exactly the same) had to be interrupted because it was killing her blood cells, and she had to take some absurdly expensive medicine (something like US$ 10k per dose) to rebuild her medula or she'd have died sooner or later.

We're waiting for .br gov. to approve Incivek (we cannot affort the treatment, have to wait for the gov. to approve it so that they will field the costs. In brazil, 1yr of interferon + ribavirin + incivek will cost as much as your entire house). I sure hope it shows up soon, because she is close to the stage where she'd need a liver transplant.

You fai:L it. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40735207)

Every da7...Like

Next up... (4, Funny)

Jahava (946858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735359)

Hepatitis C++? Hepatitis C#?

Objective Hepatitis C. *shudders*

Re:Next up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40737357)

To whomever rated this comment: I don't think you know what a "Troll" is..

Go Gators (0)

Bill Hayden (649193) | more than 2 years ago | (#40736131)

"Go cure hepatitis C!"

Missing the real progress... (1)

Wdi (142463) | more than 2 years ago | (#40736789)

This is non-news. Cures which work in cell cultures are a dime a dozen. This is at least six years from going to market, and has >95% chance to fail as an actual drug.

The real progress are the recently introduced, FDA-approved treatments by Vertex, Merck (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/23/us-vertex-idUSTRE74M3I320110523) and soon Gilead (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/19/us-bristolmyers-hepatitis-idUSBRE83I0T920120419). These are really fantastic advances in the treatment of that disease.

Re:Missing the real progress... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40741859)

Hooray - it's Captain Vertex shill! We're saved!

Cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40737347)

Sounds cool!

Can we get something to eliminate stupidity? The USA needs a triple-shot.

Dilemma (1)

John Napkintosh (140126) | more than 2 years ago | (#40737969)

Jenny McCarthy is no doubt torn right now, between her hatred of vaccines and the desire to eradicate the HepC she no doubt has.

but it distorts your vision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40738061)

HTML tip: To avoid aspect ratio problems, give IMG elements either a width or a height, not both. (Better still, do it in CSS and make it relative to the container.)

Awesome, keep it going! (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 2 years ago | (#40738433)

If we can program these nano cells to attack, all these, including aids and cancer...that would be the real deal right there....!
I wonder if you can reprogram it to remove old cells so as not to allow aging to happen too?

This Kills The Host. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40740091)

Do not want.

I wish they could speed this up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40740943)

It sounds like it's a long way off for human trials. I'm sure it will be put in the experamental stage and insurance will not cover it due to cost - just like so many other promising research. It always comes down to money. Oh well, I knew I would die from this just before they cured it!

Too late (1)

NCatron (103418) | more than 2 years ago | (#40742877)

While interesting, this research is far too late to be remotely useful. There are multiple Phase III trials currently ongoing with new generations of HCV treatments - at least one of these will become the de facto standard of treatment for HCV cures in the future, with REAL human cure rates of > 90% if not 100%, depending on genotype and statues re: failed previous treatment courses of course. That puts them about 8 years ahead of these guys. Interesting science though, and I wish them luck.

Tons of HCV cures already or soon to be marketed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40745325)

Lot of misinformation in these comments.

First, there are TONS of drugs either on the market or about to be that have cure rates >50% in most Genotype 1a (hardest to treat, most common in the US) patients who are treatment naive. Cure rate are lower for null responders (now around 30% or so), people with the IL-28b TT genotype, cirrhotics, so there's room for improvement there.

HCV protease inhibitors Incivek and Victrelis are on the market with HCV cure rates >70% in Genotype 1a treatment naive patients. Second-generation protease inhibitors like TMC-435 and ABT-072 are in Phase 2b and have high (>90%) SVR12 (cure rate) in Gt 1. Pan-genotypic nucleoside inhibitors like GS-7977 have high cure rates in treatment naive and are in Phase 3; other nucs (ALS-2200, ALS-2158, IDX184) are coming up. NS5a inhibitors like daclatasvir are in Phase 2. Non-nucleoside NS5b inhibitors like VX-222 or ABT-333 are in Phase 2. All of these newer drugs will be in all oral, well-tolerated combinations. This nanotech stuff is definitely late to the party.

By the way, re: big pharma: Some of these drugs (Victrelis, ABT-072, TMC-435, daclatasvir) are developed by big pharma, if that means monolithic firms based out of New Jersey; but a lot (Incivek, GS-7977, VX-222, ACH-1625, IDX184, ALS-2200) are not.

black ops wet dream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40760691)

Microscopic particles that tinker with your mRNA? I'm sure there's no way this technology could ever be abused.

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