Below is a list of terms that are commonly used in discussing hepatitis C and cancer treatments.
Antibody – a specific protein that is released from the body to fight off any foreign viral or bacterial infection.
Cirrhosis – is a condition that is a result of damage to the liver by liver diseases and excessive alcohol consumption, usually due to long term infection or toxins exposed to the liver.
Direct acting antivirals – DAAs are newly discovered antivirals that successfully treat hepatitis C.
Harvoni – a direct acting antiviral developed by Gilead Sciences to treat hepatitis C. It is an oral once a day tablet made of ledipasvir 90mg and sofosbuvir 400mg taken for 84 days or 12 weeks. Some HCV infections can be treated within 8 weeks or 56 tablets, while some require 168 tablets for 24 weeks.
HCV – hepatitis C virus acronym.
HCV ab – hepatitis C virus antibody, a protein that is produced to fight an infection from the hepatitis C virus.
HCV RNA PCR Test – a hepatitis C test where RNA (genetic material) of the virus in blood sample is run through a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) laboratory equipment. This test provides quantitative and qualitative results of the HCV infection.
HCV RNA PCR Qualitative results – a result from a blood sample that provides information if there is an active hepatitis C infection.
HCV RNA PCR Quantitative results – a result from a blood sample that provides a numerical measurement of the hepatitis C viruses in the blood. The numerical range (viral load test) is approximately 10 IU/L to 100,000,000 IU/L.
Hepatitis – the inflammation of the liver due to an active infection.
Viral load test – is the number of viruses in a blood sample, usually detected using a PCR laboratory equipment.
HCV RNA PCR range – the number of hepatitis C viruses found in a blood sample, from 10 IU/L to 100,000,000 IU/L.
High viral load – a number that is above the accepted normal for a viral infection. Example: 1,429,923 IU/L for hepatitis C virus is considered high.
Low viral load – a number that is below the accepted normal for a viral infection. Example: 30,000 IU/L for hepatitis C virus is considered low.
Sovaldi – is a once a day tablet invented by Gilead Sciences to treat hepatitis C. Its is made of sofosbuvir 400mg and is taken for 84 days with or without weight based ribavirin. It can also be taken with daclatasvir (Daklinza) for some HCV genotypes.
Epclusa – is a once a day tablet developed by Gilead Sciences to treat hepatitis C. It is the first hepatitis C treatment for all genotypes of HCV. It is made up of velpatasvir 100mg and sofosbuvir 400mg and is taken for 12 weeks or 84 days, sometimes for 24 weeks or 168 days.
Genotype – this is type of RNA or genetic material that is found in the hepatitis C virus. There are 6 genotypes in the world. The genotype does not ever change.