September 17, 2013 Drug therapy offers new hope to hepatits C patients

Drug therapy offers new hope to hepatits C patients

September 17, 2013
Detroit News

A new drug regimen for liver transplant patients — tried for the first time ever at the University of Michigan Hospital — could bring hope to millions of hepatitis C suffers and the man who received the initial treatment has made it his mission to educate the public about the disease.

Robert Gholston Jr., a 59-year-old General Motors Co. durability test driver from Troy, contracted the hepatitis C virus from a blood transfusion he received after he was hit by a car at age 9. By 2011, it had destroyed his liver, and he received a transplant at U-M Hospital. But within six months, the virus was back — and aggressively attacked his liver.

Dr. Robert Fontana, professor of internal medicine and medical director of liver transplantation at U-M Health System, obtained emergency approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration to give Gholston a treatment that combined two oral antiviral medications, sofosbuvir and daclatasvir.

“Dr. Fontana said, ‘It hasn’t been tested, and if you take this, you’ll be the only one of 7 billion people taking this,’ ” Gholston recalled. “I thought, ‘If I’m the one supposed to test this medication, then so be it.’

To read the full article, click here.  To learn more about hepatitis C,click here.

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