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SLU Researchers Take Step Toward Hepatitis B Cure

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File photo of a doctor's office. (credit: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

File photo of a doctor’s office. (credit: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

CBS St. Louis (con't)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Local researchers believe they may have made a breakthrough in the pursuit of Hepatitis B drugs which could help cure the virus.

St. Louis University School of Medicine researcher John Tavis says this discovery may lead to drugs which, in combination with existing medications, could suppress the virus far enough to begin curing patients.

“Which will be important because not only does HPV kill an awful lot of people by causing liver damage, but it also is the leading cause of liver cancer in the world,” Tavis said. “If you cure the infection, the person’s chance of getting liver cancer goes way down.”

Currently, several drugs are able to treat symptoms successfully, but are not able to cure many patients. About 350 million people are chronically infected with Hepatitis B worldwide.

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