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S3-E11.2 – NAIL-NIT and the Challenges of Histopathology

How does NAIL-NIT looks to improve on the challenges of histopathology?

This episode starts with Stephen Harrison describing the events that came to demonstrate how challenging current histopathology approaches are: a series of drug development failures that reflect shortcomings in methodology rather than in the developmental drugs themselves. Sen Sundaram notes that the difference between the NAIL-NIT approach and that of other consortia is that NAIL-NIT seeks to link NITs directly to outcomes rather than correlating them to histopathology-based measures. Mazen Noureddin discussed the frequency at which patients with obvious NASH and fibrosis fail to screen into studies due to the inability to find balloon hepatocytes in the biopsy-derived slides and raises the human ethical implications of excluding these patients. Amy Articolo encourages us to envision a future in which drugs are available to treat patients and make sure we have the best possible testing to diagnose and prescribe the proper therapeutic regimens to patients. From there, the discussion shifts as Stephen Harrison and Sen Sundaram discuss the quality of data existing today that links NITs directly to outcomes. Sen notes that “if we think about the amount of data that we have” for NITs and outcomes, “we probably have more data now than is cited to support histopathology in a current guidance.”

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