Will a deadly disease become a chronic condition?

Will a deadly disease become a chronic condition?

03.31.11 | By

This story in the LA Times caught my eye today. It talks about how two experimental drugs now being tested have the potential for transforming Hepatitis C - a deadly liver disease - into a more manageable chronic condition.

While everyone one certainly hopes for a cure, what was interesting to me was the underlying story of medical progress. Turning Hepatitis C into a manageable chronic condition will have a profoundly positive impact on the lives of those afflicted with the condition. It would move Hepatitis C into a position with heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and HIV/AIDS - all potentially deadly conditions that if diagnosed appropriately, patients can manage and live relatively normal, healthy lives.

It is also another example of the incremental nature of medical progress. While we all want the big breakthrough discovery, it is far more common to have smaller yet important discoveries that, say, help to make a deadly condition into a manageable chronic condition. And, of course, through the research and discovery process, helping us learn more not only about a target condition, but maybe about how other diseases work and suggesting new ways to approach their treatment. ?

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