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Read also: Daily ILC news recap for Day 2, Thursday 12 April 2018


In this issue:
 This first edition of the ILC 2018 daily news includes updates on the latest scientific advances presented today, the conclusions of brand new research think tanks sessions, top tips for how to get the best out of ILC, and what not to miss over the next few days. Scroll down to read more!

The first day of ILC 2018 saw the arrival of thousands of clinicians, scientists and hepatology associates from all around the world to discuss the latest advances at the frontline of hepatology. Delegates arriving today were able to attend the new interactive research think tanks, the viral hepatitis postgraduate course and basic science seminars on targetable pathways in liver disease. The first of an extensive programme of industry symposia rounded off today’s proceedings.

What’s in store at ILC 2018?

As well as more than 1,500 original scientific presentations, ILC 2018 continues to focus on interaction and education, bringing you old favourites such as the grand rounds and state-of-the-art lectures, and some exciting new concepts:


Meet the experts: meet with some of the biggest names in hepatology in a face-to-face interactive setting. 16 informal workshops from Thursday to Saturday (hall 7.3).

Breakfast morning rounds: join us for a cup of coffee and a croissant at one of four multidisciplinary rounds in the plenary hall on Friday and Sunday, 7:30–8:20
Get the most out of ILC 2018

Research think tanks stir up debate

Eight new EASL research think tanks brought together a range of topically related organizations and/or consortia to discuss the hottest topics in hepatology.  All the think tanks were very well attended, generating extensive audience participation and debate.


Two think tanks on viral hepatitis considered the barriers preventing elimination of HCV. The need for a vaccine was questioned in view of the availability of numerous highly effective antiviral treatment options and the technical and public health challenges for producing and rolling out a vaccine. Instead, it was agreed that the focus should be on improved multidisciplinary cooperation, screening programmes, and education to effectively reach and treat key populations. In particular, education of addiction specialists by hepatologists on the effectiveness of anti-viral therapies was identified as crucial.

Similarly, in the NAFLD think tank, collaboration between hepatologists and diabetologists was identified as a key need. In this session and in the chronic liver failure think tank, participants also discussed the need for new biomarkers for differential diagnoses, prognosis and individual tailoring of new treatments. A key conclusion was that the approach to finding clinically useful biomarkers should start with the patient, with contextual consideration of phenotypic and aetiological aspects of the disease. For NASH, a reverse translation approach was considered to be a quicker and more efficient process than animal models for developing new markers.

For complications of cirrhosis the utility of signature patterns of biomarkers rather than individual molecules was highlighted. In the portal hypertension think tank new concepts related to the link between the coagulation cascade and chronic liver disease were underlined. Other points of discussion were how to optimize the design of clinical trials for the prevention and treatment of portal vein thrombosis, and which drugs could be suitable for trials in the next few years.


Overall, these innovative new sessions did a great job of whetting our appetites for further multidisciplinary collaborations, and for an exciting programme of clinical and scientific interaction at ILC 2018 over the next few days.

Don’t miss 
Meet the Expert: Management of HCV infection in patients with HCC
Thursday, 10:30–11:30, West 4

Don’t miss 
EASL and ALIVER raise public awareness about the challenges of liver failure and liver cirrhosis
An animated short-film produced by the ALIVER consortium titled “Life After Liver Failure”, premieres tomorrow morning at the BioTech Village. The film highlights innovative DIALIVE technology, a novel ‘liver dialysis device’ which is undergoing two clinical trials to assess its safety and efficacy.

The case for a cure
Complexities of diagnosis and treatment discussed at today’s viral hepatitis postgraduate course
This year’s postgraduate course on viral hepatitis aimed to stimulate discussion on how potent new antivirals can be best used to steer us towards the ambitious WHO goal of viral hepatitis elimination by the year 2030. In the first sessions of the PGC today, four distinct clinical case studies were presented and discussed, with contributions from several leading experts in the field and guidance from the organizing committee: Maurizia Brunetto (Italy), Francesco Negro (Switzerland), Jean-Michel Pawlotsky (France) and Heiner Wedemeyer (Germany). Today’s cases covered some important aspects of diagnosis and management of HBV, HCV, HDV and HEV. Two further cases of HBV and HCV will be presented tomorrow.

Don’t miss
EASL
 Clinical Practice Guidelines: Management of hepatocellular carcinoma
Thursday, 12:30–13:15, North 1

Don’t miss
Get your copy of the new HEPAHEALTH project report from the EASL booth or the press office.

Industry symposia – focusing on the patient to improve outcomes in hepatology

AbbVie: From Treatment Simplification to HCV Elimination: Effective Multi-Stakeholder Care
An expert panel led by Professor Michael Manns explored simplified regimens targeting the evolving HCV treatment landscape, with a focus on advancements in treatment attributes, overcoming the barriers to HCV care, and the strategies and key stakeholders that can contribute to HCV elimination.

Norgine: Driving change to optimise the HE patient journey
Dr Jasmohan Bajaj and colleagues discussed the challenges of effective long-term management of hepatic encephalitis (HE) and the requirement for coordinated multi-disciplinary care, emphasizing the positive impact that proactive and practical solutions can have in preventing deterioration and recurrence of HE episodes.

Bayer: Treatment sequencing and maximizing survival – uHCC in 2018
This symposium, chaired by Prof. Markus Peck-Radosavljevic, highlighted the importance of effective treatment sequencing in unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (uHCC). The faculty provided practical guidance for the management of patients on systemic treatment, while exploring how the sorafenib–regorafenib sequence has impacted the uHCC treatment paradigm.

Acknowledgements

ILC Daily News was supported by grants from: Abbvie, Alexion, Boehringer Ingelheim, Gilead, Janssen, MSD and Pfizer.