Ask Your Questions About-HCV! of our Hepatitis Experts:

Possibilty of a Hep C vaccine?

Dr. Chung,

I would like to know if NATAP is aware of the work in progress at Innogenetics, a Belgian company that develops diagnostic tests and vaccines, and especially, what is your opinion on this vaccine? Is it realistic to hope for this?

You can see their information at, on the button 'press releases 2001', the article dated january 2001. i asked when the vaccine would be available for the public and they said they plan for 2006.

I have HepC diagnosed in 1989 and my 2nd biopsy (june 2001) wasn't too good. I have fibrosis and possibly cirrhosis. I have never done treatment (watchful waiting). Now I have to make decisions whether to start interferon/riba. Can I wait for the vaccine?

Also, the biopsy left a lot of pain and discomfort. I don't understand why other ways of assessing damage are not explored. I never had liver pains before it.

I hope you will be able to find out more about the vaccine.

Kind regards,
Hepzibah, from Holland

answer from Dr Chung:

Regarding the vaccine, I would be cautious in putting too much hope into this. Secondly, because you have relatively advanced disease, the concept of a vaccine helping to stimulate the immune system to clear the disease would have to be very carefully scrutinized, as such a response might make your liver disease worse before it makes it better. The vaccine makes more sense for those who have never had infection for prevention. Consideration of antiviral therapy makes sense. RC Ask our Experts All Questions