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Current and Emerging Approaches for Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Treatment

Ming-Ming Chen, Jing-Jing Cai, Yao Yu, Zhi-Gang She, Hongliang Li
Gene Expression 2019 April 2
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the second leading cause of liver transplantation in the United States with a high risk of liver-related morbidities and mortality. Given the global burden of NASH, development of appropriate therapeutic strategies is an important clinical need. Where applicable, lifestyle modification remains the primary recommendation for the treatment of NASH, even though such changes are difficult to sustain and even insufficient to cure NASH. Bariatric surgery resolves NASH in such patients where lifestyle modifications have failed, and is recommended for morbidly obese patients with NASH. Thus, pharmacotherapies are of high value for NASH treatment. Though no drug has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for treatment of NASH, substantial progress in pharmacological development has been made in the last few years. Agents such as vitamin E and pioglitazone are recommended in patients with NASH, and yet, concerns about their side-effects, remain. Many agents targeting various vital molecules and pathways, including those impacting metabolic perturbations, inflammatory cascades and oxidative stress, are in clinical trials for the treatment of NASH. Some agents have shown promising results in phase II or III clinical trials, but more studies are required to assess their long-term effects. Herein, we review the potential strategies and challenges in therapeutic approaches to treating NASH.


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