This week’s episode and conversations preview the inaugural Innovations in NAFLD Care Workshop, premiering in Barcelona on May 6 and 7. Surfing the NASH Tsunami is a Media Partner for this conference. We will be conducting and posting interviews from the workshop, co-host Roger Green is moderating a panel there, and Surfing NASH will present a follow-up episode on Wednesday, May 11.
This conversation between co-host Roger Green and the co-chairs and co-founders of the Innovations in NAFLD Care 2022 workshop, Jeff Lazarus and Jörn Schattenberg, focuses on the factors that drew each man towards these issues and to create this kind of event. For Jeff Lazarus, this is the third wave on what he describes as his own liver Tsunami, starting with his work on HIV, moving to Hepatitis C because many of the same people living with HIV were also living with Hep C and then, once he realized that prevalence of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) was growing despite these effort, to look at NASH as the looming source of a pandemic of severe liver disease. Jeff notes that whereas HIV and Hepatitis C were well defined diseases when he became involved and there were effective therapies for both these diseases NASH is quite different: a less-than-clearly defined disease with no discrete new agents in market. Jörn Schattenberg came from quite a different perspective. Jörn started as a clinical and academic hepatologist, treating patients and working in drug and diagnostic development. His first exposure to public health came while working on a cost effectiveness paper with Jeff. As he became increasingly involved with public health and policy, he learned how complex it is to build a consensus to organize effective treatment for NASH patients.
Jeff’s and Jörn’s stories comprise the bulk of this conversation. The only other thought comes from Roger Green, who comments that one thing the three conditions have in common is the inappropriate stigma attached to patients with each.