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Clinical Epidemiology Webinar – 26 January 2016 - PHE Action on Liver Disease & Preview of 2nd Atlas of Variation in Liver Disease
News Type: BASL News

This webinar is for anyone who wants to understand the challenges to reduce liver disease.

By joining the webinar participants will:
 Explore the variations in liver disease risk factors and outcomes
 Learn about PHEs programmes of action on liver disease
 Look at time series data to identify where variation has improved, stayed the same or got worse
 Explore the stories behind the data
 Have an opportunity to ask a question to the national team

The webinar* will be held on Thursday 26 January 2016 - 2:00pm and 3:00pm.

Registration is FREE for this event and if you have already expressed an interest in attending this webinar, then we will have your details on our system. If you have not registered, please do so > Here:

If you have any questions about registration, please contact . 

*Webinar details will be sent out prior to the session

Gilead UK and Ireland Fellowship Programme 2017 in viral hepatitis
News Type: BASL News

The Gilead UK and Ireland Fellowship Programme 2017 will open soon for grant applications in the therapy area of viral hepatitis. The aim of the programme is to support local innovation and best practice in patient care.

The programme invites applications from healthcare or allied professionals that:

1. Innovative local integrated initiatives to evaluate effectiveness of non-hospital based HCV treatment service models
2. Novel HCV care pathways using partnership models demonstrating measurable improvements in patient engagement

Projects which fall outside of this scope but which will add clinical value or which investigate an area of unmet need within viral hepatitis can also be submitted and will be reviewed for their merit.

The Gilead UK and Ireland Fellowship Programme started in 2009, and since its inception has supported over 150 projects in the areas of HIV, Viral Hepatitis, Respiratory, Invasive Fungal Disease and Oncology.

You can apply for a viral hepatitis grant by clicking > here 

BASL BVHG Secretary Post - nominations by Friday 6th January 2017, 17:00.
News Type: BASL News

Due to the current post holder having being elected as Chair of the British Viral Hepatitis Group (BVHG) the BVHG are seeking nominations / expressions of interest for the post of Secretary.

The British Viral Hepatitis Group aims to improve the management and study of patients with chronic viral liver disease, bringing together UK hepatologists, gastroenterologists, infectious disease physicians, virologists and interested epidemiologists.

BVHG Committee Secretary 
The BVHG Secretary is elected by the BASL / BVHG membership to serve for a period of up to three year’s and may be re-elected once. The Secretary is responsible for running the administrative tasks pertaining to his/her function and will work closely with the BASL Secretariat, which is appointed by the BASL Governing Board.

The BVHG is commissioned by the BASL Governing Board to:
• a) promote research and the exchange of scientific information concerning viral hepatitis;
• b) foster multicentre scientific studies pertaining to viral hepatitis within the UK;
• c) promote education of physicians, surgeons, clinical nurse specialists and scientists with regard to viral hepatitides and their management;
• d) Promote interaction between clinical disciplines to promote good care of patients and foster research and clinical trials.

Nomination Process
Candidates wishing to be considered for election will require one BASL member to propose them and a second BASL member to confirm their suitability for the role in writing.

Please email Judy Hawksworth at the BASL Secretariat with your nominations by 17:00 on Friday 6th January 2017. Following this time candidate statements will be requested and voting will take place if necessary.

If you require any further information about this role please contact Dr Ahmed Elsharkawy at or contact Judy Hawksworth as above.

DAA-based therapies effective for HCV patients with chronic kidney disease
News Type: Hepatology News

Direct-acting antiviral (DAA)-based therapies are effective and well-tolerated for HCV patients with stage four to five chronic kidney disease, a meta-analysis of published studies shows.

Reviewers at the Second Hospital of Shandong University in China found 11 studies involving a total of 264 patients. The pooled SVR12 rate was 93.2% for the total population, 89.4% for sofosbuvir-based therapies, and 94.7% for non-sofosbuvir-based therapies. For HCV genotype 1 patients, the pooled SVR12 rate was 93.1%.

The pooled incidence of serious adverse events was 12.1%, and the pooled discontinuation rate because of adverse events or serious adverse events was 2.2%.


Efficacy and safety of DAA-based antiviral therapies for HCV patients with stage  4-5 chronic kidney disease: a meta-analysis. Li T, Qu Y, Guo Y et al. Liver Int. 2016 Dec 10 [Epub ahead of print]

Haemophilia does not affect liver transplant outcomes in HCV patients
News Type: Hepatology News

A large observational study in the USA confirmed haemophilia per se does not have a specific influence on transplant outcomes in HCV patients, but that HIV infection increases the risk of mortality in both haemophilic (H) and non-haemophilic (NH) patients.

Researchers identified 2,502 HCV-positive liver transplant candidates from eight US university-based transplant centres between 2004 and 2010, including 144 HIV-positive and 2,358 HIV-negative; 36 H and 2,466 NH; 1,213 transplanted and 1,289 not transplanted patients.

In univariate analysis, 90-day pre-transplant mortality was associated with higher baseline MELD (hazard ratio 1.15), lower baseline platelet count (hazard ratio 1.11 per 25k/µL), and having HIV/HCV-positive haemophilia.

In multivariate analysis, pre-transplant mortality was associated with higher MELD and was significantly greater in HIV-positive than HIV- groups, but did not differ between HIV-positive H and NH (hazard ratio 1.7). Among HIV/HCV-positive, post-transplant mortality was similar between H and NH, despite lower CD4 in H.


Haemophilia liver transplantation observational study (HOTS). Ragni MV, Humar A, Stock PG et al. Liver Transpl. 2016 Dec 9 [Epub ahead of print]

Mechanisms of IFN-α-induced depression in HCV are unclear
News Type: Hepatology News

A significant number of HCV patients develop a major depressive episode (MDE) during interferon-alpha (IFN-α) based immunotherapy, and several mechanisms may be involved.

Authors of a new literature review found eight unique references which met their inclusion criteria, and which involved 826 people with HCV (37.3% females). The overall MDE incidence rate was 34.8%, with follow-up ranging between four and 48 weeks. The methodological quality varied across selected studies. It was found that Interleukin-6, salivary cortisol, arachidonic acid/eicosapentaenoicacid plus ocosahexaenoic acid ratio, and genetic polymorphisms may present variations which are linked to a predisposition to INF-α-induced depression.

However, a meta-analysis could not be performed because of the diverse biological mechanisms investigated and the lack of replicated evidence. The reviewers, therefore, concluded the mechanisms involved in IFN-α-induced depression in humans remained unclear.


Biological mechanisms of depression following treatment with interferon for chronic hepatitis C: a critical systematic review. Machado MO, Oriolo G, Bortolato B et al. J Affect Disord. 2016 Nov 27; 209:235-245 [Epub ahead of print]

New metrics for the Lancet Standing Commission on Liver Disease in the UK
News Type: BASL News

The third report of the Lancet Commission into Liver Disease in the UK was published online on Friday 16th December 2016.

Visit the Lancet website to read the report > click here

Alcohol Health Alliance responds to publication of 2015 Health Survey for England
News Type: BASL News

Responding to the release on 14 December 2016 of the 2015 Health Survey for England, Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK, said:

"We welcome the continuing downward trend in children aged 8-15 being exposed to alcohol.

However, the figures for adults are worrying as they reveal that in 2015, 31% of men and 16% of women in England drank more than the current low risk weekly guideline of 14 units a week spread out across 4-5 days.

Drinking above the low risk guideline places people at increased risk of illnesses like heart disease, liver disease and cancer.

The most recent UK guidelines on low-risk drinking, and the reasons behind them, have simply not been communicated adequately. The government needs to ensure the public are aware of the current drinking guidelines, as well as the harms associated with alcohol. The public have the right to know, so they can make informed choices about their drinking.

The government should communicate the risks in two ways.

Firstly, the government should develop mass media campaigns outlining the risks. These could include TV and radio advertisements, social media campaigns, and messages on public transport.

Second, the government should introduce mandatory labelling of all alcoholic products, containing clear and legible health information about the harms associated with drinking."

New toolkit will help commission HCV services
News Type: BASL News

HCV Action has produced a new resource, aimed at helping commissioners and service providers better understand hepatitis C treatment pathways.

The Hepatitis C Commissioning Toolkit, an update to the original toolkit published in September 2013, sets out key commissioning responsibilities, with the intention of bringing clarity to an often highly fragmented commissioning landscape.

In a foreword to the toolkit, Dr Steve Ryder, chairman of HCV Action and Consultant Hepatologist at, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “With new treatments becoming available that can cure upwards of 95% of people, we now have the opportunity to eliminate this preventable and curable virus. “Commissioners have a major role to play. It is no exaggeration to say that commissioners, whether based in local authorities, CCGs or NHS England, will decide whether nor not we capitalise on the opportunity we now have to tackle this costly virus and ultimately eliminate it.”

To find out more > click here

Guidelines for Nurses - new free digital resource
News Type: Nurse News

A new free digital resource called Guidelines for Nurses is available and delivers content that includes guideline summaries, feature articles, and educational resources to help with CPD and revalidation. The resource is available as an app and online.

The app is available to download from the Guidelines for Nurses website for an annual subscription fee of £49.99 HOWEVER access to the content on the app is FREE to all UK-based nurses who register for free on the website first.

Guidelines for Nurses includes a resource centre focussed on liver disease, and one of our most popular pieces of content is the NICE guideline on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

To register on the Guidelines for Nurses website > click here.