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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 27, Issue 11, Pages 627-632
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/242405
Commentary

The Second Canadian Symposium on Hepatitis C Virus: A Call to Action

Jason Grebely,1 Marc Bilodeau,2 Jordan J Feld,3 Julie Bruneau,4 Benedikt Fischer,5 Jennifer F Raven,6 Eve Roberts,7 Norma Choucha,2 Rob P Myers,8 Selena M Sagan,9 Joyce A Wilson,10 Frank Bialystok,7 D Lorne Tyrrell,11 Michael Houghton,11 Mel Krajden,12,13 and on behalf of the National CIHR Research Training Program in Hepatitis C

1The Kirby Institute, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
2Liver Unit, Department of Medicine, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada
3Toronto Centre for Liver Disease, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
4CRCHUM, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada
5Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
6Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Infection and Immunity, Laurier, Québec, Canada
7University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
8Liver Unit, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
9Department of Microbiology & Immunology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
10Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
11Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
12British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
13University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Received 15 July 2013; Accepted 15 September 2013

Copyright © 2013 Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver. This open-access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (CC BY-NC) (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits reuse, distribution and reproduction of the article, provided that the original work is properly cited and the reuse is restricted to noncommercial purposes.

Abstract

In Canada, hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection results in considerable morbidity, mortality and health-related costs. Within the next three to 10 years, it is expected that tolerable, short-duration (12 to 24 weeks) therapies capable of curing >90% of those who undergo treatment will be approved. Given that most of those already infected are aging and at risk for progressive liver disease, building research-based interdisciplinary prevention, care and treatment capacity is an urgent priority. In an effort to increase the dissemination of knowledge in Canada in this rapidly advancing field, the National CIHR Research Training Program in Hepatitis C (NCRTP-HepC) established an annual interdisciplinary Canadian Symposium on Hepatitis C Virus. The first symposium was held in Montreal, Quebec, in 2012, and the second symposium was held in Victoria, British Columbia, in 2013. The current article presents highlights from the 2013 meeting. It summarizes recent advances in HCV research in Canada and internationally, and presents the consensus of the meeting participants that Canada would benefit from having its own national HCV strategy to identify critical gaps in policies and programs to more effectively address the challenges of expanding HCV screening and treatment.