This year's Nobel Prize winners made a breakthrough in practical medicine. It has not been long since the HCV virus was described to the time when effective drugs became available, comments Prof. Dominika Nowis from the Medical University of Warsaw.
The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine went to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice - discoverers of HCV that causes hepatitis C - announced the Nobel Committee on Monday in Stockholm.
"HCV is (...) a virus whose infection leads to hepatitis. It can be chronic inflammation, which means that you won't heal yourself. It can lead to permanent liver damage, liver remodelling, and finally cancer. hepatocellular carcinoma (...) "- recalled prof. Dominika Nowis from the Laboratory of Experimental Medicine of the Medical University of Warsaw during a debate at the Center for Cooperation and Dialogue of the University of Warsaw organized on the occasion of the Nobel Prize Week. She explained that HCV is a virus many times more contagious than HIV.
"This year's Nobel Prize winners have identified the virus and showed how it causes liver changes. It is tedious and elegant research work in which it proves that the factor tested by scientists actually causes the disease" - she concluded.
"We can rarely say when the Nobel Prize is announced that something has a practical effect," she said. And in her opinion, this year's Nobel Prize winners made a breakthrough in practical medicine. "By describing the virus, discovering how it is structured, how it causes disease in humans, drugs have been developed that can cure the sick of infection, which is a huge breakthrough" - she assessed.
She concluded that HCV is "a serious health problem that affects tens of millions of people worldwide." And she added that it is about 1.5 percent. Poles.
She commented that the consequences of this year's Nobel Prize winners' research were enormous and they happened before our eyes. However, as she pointed out, before the drugs against this virus were developed, a lot of time was spent on developing a vaccine that would protect against virus infection, but it was not possible to produce it. "The virus is changeable, this is in a way analogous to the work on an HIV vaccine" - said Prof. News. (PAP)