MONTREAL, Feb. 21, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Montreal will host the first ever Canadian Symposium on the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) on February 23 at the Hotel Hilton Bonaventure. Chaired by Dr. Naglaa Shoukry of the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM), this symposium will bring together around 200 researchers and clinicians from across Canada and around the world. The goal is to increase interactions and exchanges between researchers, healthcare professionals and community organizations to develop more effective strategies to meet the challenges of preventing and treating Hepatitis C.
CRCHUM researchers at the forefront of HCV research
CRCHUM researchers have spearheaded the development of many important discoveries in this area:
- The effectiveness of early treatment in restoring the immune response against HCV (Drs. Naglaa Shoukry and Julie Bruneau)
- Development of guidelines for HCV screening and treatment in injection drug users (Dr. Bruneau)
- Clinical trials for novel HCV antiviral therapies (Drs. Bernard Willems and Marc Bilodeau)
- Care and management of HCV infected patient post liver transplant (Dr. Denis Marleau).
"However," notes Dr. Shoukry, "these important breakthroughs remain all too often in the laboratory and only rarely make their way into the healthcare care community."
New drugs and resistance: a debate in the scientific community
Panellists will also address the recent approval and introduction of new drugs to fight this disease. While the advent of these pharmacological developments represents a significant treatment breakthrough, it also raises issues related to drug resistance and access to these drugs by vulnerable and marginalized populations. These two themes will figure prominently in discussions at the symposium. "Our expectation is that this meeting will set the agenda for research and community outreach for the coming years," notes Shoukry.
Internationally renowned speakers
The symposium is organized by the National CIHR Research Training Program in Hepatitis C. It, which will feature speakers from throughout North America and Europe, will be held at the Hilton Bonaventure Hotel in Montreal. Topics will include a broad range of issues ranging from the virology of HCV, immunity and vaccine development against HCV to socially-based approaches to HCV prevention, psychological issues in the care of people living with hepatitis C and potential problems associated with the new treatments for HCV.
The keynote speaker at the conference is Dr. Jean-Michel Pawlotsky from the University of Paris-Est and the Henri Mondor University Hospital in Créteil, France, a leading authority on treatment of hepatitis C. "This symposium is a major first step in ensuring that basic and clinical research findings reach those who matter the most—patients," notes Dr. Shoukry.
- The hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects 170 million individuals worldwide.
- In Canada, approximately 240,000 people are infected
- In Canada, there are 4,000 new infections each year.
- The majority of HCV exposed individuals develop a life-long persistent infection that can lead to irreversible liver damage and cancer.
About the CRCHUM: www.crchum.qc.ca
About the National CIHR Research Training Program in Hepatitis C: http://www.ncrtp-hepc.ca/
For further information:
Source : CRCHUM
Associate Director, Information and Development
(514) 890-8000 / 14090