- Two cellular proteins, heat shock proteins 40 and 70, play a crucial role in hepatitis C infection.
- Quercetin, a plant-based bioflavonoid, can block the synthesis of these proteins, thereby disrupting viral infection.
- Current conventional therapies against hepatitis C are ineffective for all patient groups and have significant side effects – a treatment focusing on cellular proteins could present a significant breakthrough.
- A phase 1 clinical trial at UCLA is planned to test Quercetin’s safety and effectiveness in type 1 Hepatitis C patients – a group in which only approximately 50% respond positively to treatment.
- The research findings have been published in the globally respected publication, Hepatology, and further research is ongoing to enhance the findings.
Revered scientists have conducted a landmark study and successfully pinpointed two cellular proteins vital in hepatitis C infection. This discovery harbors tremendous potential for the invention of groundbreaking and less toxic therapies against Hepatitis C, a disease notorious for progressing to cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Conventional Therapies: A Constant Struggle
The prevailing remedies against hepatitis C predominantly feature interferon and ribavirin. But despite their widespread application, they produce major side effects and disappointingly remain ineffective across all patient groups. An innovative drug that zeroes in on cellular proteins rather than viral proteins could usher in a significant breakthrough in its treatment protocol, opines the research collective originating from University of California.
Discovering Pathways to New Treatment
The researchers have uncovered that heat shock proteins 40 and 70 play a crucial role in hepatitis C infection. Amazingly, they have also discovered that Quercetin, a natural compound, can block the synthesis of these proteins and significantly disrupt viral infection in tissue culture.
Quercetin is a plant-based bioflavonoid occasionally employed as a nutritional supplement. It is believed to possess potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
“Our discovery holds tremendous importance since by blocking these proteins we can aim at lowering the virus level in people and, in an ideal world, wiping it out completely,” conveys study senior author Samuel French, an Assistant Professor of Pathology.
Achievements and Future Prospects
The breakthrough developments have been published in a previous edition of the globally respected publication, Hepatology.
As a logical extension to their findings, a phase 1 clinical trial will be undertaken at UCLA to ascertain if Quercetin is safe and effective when administered to patients suffering from type 1 hepatitis C. It’s significant to note that only roughly 50% of patients with type 1 Hepatitis C respond positively to treatment.
For more details on Hepatitis C, you can visit the site run by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Continual research and progress are under way to further explore, reinterpret and enhance the findings presented in this innovative study.