Agenda for Liver and Biliary Disease Research Set Until 2015


The focus of liver and biliary disease research in the United States through 2015 has been set with the release of the National Institutes of Health's Action Plan for Liver Disease Research.

The decade-long initiative is the result of coordinated effort between federal health agencies and the 18 institutes, centers, and offices in the NIH that support liver and biliary disease research. It is geared toward the rapid translation of findings from basic research to clinical practice, and vice versa. The plan includes 214 research goals, but 10 major goals cut across multiple disciplines in liver and biliary disease research:

▸ Improve the success rate of therapy for chronic hepatitis C.

▸ Develop effective antiviral therapy regimens for the long-term management of chronic hepatitis B.

▸ Develop effective therapies for the treatment of both nonalcoholic and alcoholic fatty liver disease.

▸ Detect hepatic fibrosis with sensitive, specific, and noninvasive tests.

▸ Detect hepatocellular carcinoma at earlier stages in high-risk patients with new screening tests.

▸ Develop ways to prevent gallstones.

▸ Elucidate the etiology of biliary atresia.

▸ Improve the safety, and determine the best use, of living donor liver transplantation.

▸ Develop standardized and objective diagnostic criteria of major liver diseases and their grading and staging.

▸ Reduce the overall mortality from chronic liver disease and cirrhosis.

The full action plan is located

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