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What does the future hold for patients with liver disease?

Dr Andy Holt speculates what future developments will occur for the treatment of liver disease.
Wow, well, liver disease in gastroenterology, which is the specialty in medicine that I trained in originally before I moved into liver– gastroenterology and hepatology in particular has probably been one of the areas where expansion of knowledge and science is growing fastest in the last two decades. So in terms of potential with modern pharmaceutical and research interventions– things like cancer treatments will become tailor made to the patient, possibly even using the patient’s own immune system to fight cancers within their body. And that’s work that is being steered and led from Birmingham.
We’ll see further developments in gene pattern analysis in patients so that we can actually tailor specific treatments or plan treatments according to the patient’s genetic signature and that’s not far fetched, that’s a reality. We’re already using those kinds of things, or were using those kind of things in viral hepatitis just a few years ago. And I think we’re going to see advances in the management of cirrhosis and fibrosis. I’m confident that certainly in the next 15 years we’ll start to see interventions which are shown to at least modulate progression and scarring in liver disease. Potentially that might even prevent some patients getting cirrhosis. So I think there’s really, really exciting things on the horizon.
Your task: Watch this video and try to remember the areas which Dr Holt considers will be important in the future.

Consider how these fit with some of the new treatments we have covered in the videos you have already watched this week and also with comments our clinical staff made in the videos on specific diseases in Week 2. Reflect on any new information or ideas, and share your thoughts with other learners in the comments area.

This video is our final activity related to clinical management of liver disease before we move onto dietary adjustments and changes you can make as an individual to protect your liver.

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Liver Disease: Looking after Your Liver

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