The Center for Liver Disease and Cancer Care at St. Joseph's Medical Center
Multidisciplinary Treatment and
Surgical Care
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Dr Maliha Ahmad is now Director of Liver Disease Services at St Joseph's Medical Center. Office visits are available in Clifton and Hoboken, New Jersey
(Free Parking Available)

American Association for the Study of Liver Disease HCV Guidelines

Need Hepatic Elastography for Hepatitis C treatment authorization?
Hepatic Elastography now available at St Joseph's Outpatient Radiology
1135 Broad St, Clifton New Jersey
Call 973-569-6300 for information and an appointment

The number of people dying from liver failure or liver cancer related to chronic viral hepatitis C and B, may increase 2-3 fold by 2020. Currently there are over 4,000,000 people with chronic hepatitis C and 2,000,000 people with chronic hepatitis B in the United States who can benefit from treatment. In New Jersey there are over 135,000 people with hepatitis C and 65,000 people with hepatitis B. This will cause a needless, overwhelming and unachievable demand on the need for liver transplantation. Untreated, the of people diagnosed with liver cancer may double over the next 10-15 years. This does not include cirrhosis from fatty liver disease due to obesity. By 2025 fatty liver disease related cirrhosis will be the leading cause of liver failure in the United States. By that time there will be at least 2,500,000 people in the United States with cirrhosis. Recent advances in HCV treatment now allow 9 out of 10 patients to successsfully be cured of their infection.

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The majority of people with hepatitis C and B virus infection, were exposed during the 1970-1990's. Currently there are about 5,000,000-6,000,000 people with active infection in the United States. As a result by 2020 large numbers of these people will have been infected for 20-30 years. Of people with chronic hepatitis C and/or B infection over many years, 20%-25% will develop cirrhosis. These people are at high risk for liver cancer and liver failure. Due to epidemic levels of obesity, 3 out of 10 people in the United State (100,000,000 people) have "Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease" or NAFLD. NAFLD causes inflammation in the liver, or "Steatohepatitis" in 5% of people with NAFLD. Of people with "Steatohepatitis", up to 30% will develop cirrhosis. These people are also at risk for liver cancer and failure.

The United States still remains a beacon of hope for immigrants. As such, as thousands of people arrive each year, so do endemic rates of hepatitis B and C infection.

Over the next 10-15 years the number of patients with liver failure and cancer with continue to increase rapidly (black line), while the number of transplantable livers will stay relatively unchanged (red line). This will cause the number of people dying from liver disease to dramatically increase. Liver failure and cancer from "Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease" or NAFLD will be the leading cause for need of a liver transplant by 2020-2025.

The Center for Liver Disease and Cancer Care at St. Joseph's Medical Center is dedicated to advocacy, education, prevention,
multi-disciplinary treatment, advanced surgery, advanced interventional radiology, clinical trials and scientific development of better therapies. To reduce the health burden of liver disease, we need to find and treat those afflicted by liver disease, and advocate lifestyles that promote good health and prevent liver damage.

There are over 60,000 people in New Jersey with cirrhosis. For each person recieving a liver transplant, there are 500-1000 people with cirrhosis and continued risk for liver cancer or liver failure. The number of organ donors will remain mostly unchanged. Undiagnosed, the number of people with liver failure will grow, resulting in more patients dying while awaiting liver transplant. As the distribution of donor livers has been prioritized to patients with a MELD score greater than 35, a large void exists for patients with a MELD less than 25. This largely affects patients with early liver cancer, poorly controlled ascites and poorly controlled encephalopathy. Live donor liver transplant is a viable option for these patients, who are still clearly in need of a liver transplant.

Early diagnosis and treatment of chronic viral hepatitis can eradicate infection and reduce the risk of liver failure and liver cancer. Currently the average cost of a liver transplant is $285,000 to $315,000. Although liver transplant is life saving, there is a great need to improve early diagnosis and treatment to more effectively deal with this epidemic. Unfortunately 70-80 percent of people with hepatitis C or B are not diagnosed. Now is the time to find infected patients with hepatitis C and get them into treatment.

Similarly, 70-80 percent of patients diagnosed with liver cancer are not curable, and will die within 5 years of diagnosis. The biggest barrier to improving survival is most people are diagnosed too late. There is a great need to identify people who may benefit from routine liver cancer screening.

Andrew N. de la Torre MD, FACS
Founder of Comprehensive Liver Care of New Jersey

Maliha Ahmad MD
Director of Liver Disease Services
St. Joseph's Medical Center

call us at 973-754-2315

New Jersey Physicians Working Hard to Treat New Jersey Residents