Research Topic

Gene Variation and Drug Efficacy in the Field of NAFLD or NASH

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Recent years have witnessed a global rise in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as the leading aetiology of chronic liver diseases. At present, NAFLD affects approximately 25% of the world population, and its severe form (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis[NASH]) and extrahepatic metabolic manifestations ...

Recent years have witnessed a global rise in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as the leading aetiology of chronic liver diseases. At present, NAFLD affects approximately 25% of the world population, and its severe form (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis[NASH]) and extrahepatic metabolic manifestations constitute a major cause of mortality, morbidity, and health care resource utilization worldwide. However, there are still no approved medications for NAFLD and NASH, and pharmacological treatment for NAFLD/NASH is becoming a new frontier in the novel drug research.

Promising results are emerging from various ongoing pharmaceutical trials on NAFLD/NASH treatment. The substantial advances in NAFLD-related genetics, such as PNPLA3, TM6SF2, HSD17B13, et al, not only provide the potential for new drug targets, but also raise the possibility for the accurate patient stratification and personalized medical care. NAFLD caused by gene variants might have no predisposition for metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, or cardiovascular disease. Moreover, the large gene-environment interactions found in the NAFLD-related gene variant carriers determine their different responses to lifestyle modification or pharmaceutical treatment compared to individuals without the genetic predisposition. Given the complexity and heterogeneity of disease phenotypes and clinical outcomes of NAFLD, it is necessary to translate the interactions between genetic variation and therapeutic effects into the design and trials of novel pharmacological therapies for NAFLD/NASH.

In this Research Topic, we will focus on the new developments in the emerging field of pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics for NAFLD treatment, ranging from basic research to clinical translational studies. We encourage authors to submit original research, reviews, case studies, opinions and perspectives including but not limited to any one or more of the following themes.

a) Novel targets for NAFLD/NASH treatment based on NAFLD-related genetic variants
b) pharmacokinetic and/or pharmacodynamic mechanisms of NAFLD/NASH drugs and the potential influence of gene variations
c) genetic/genomic markers of NAFLD/NASH prognosis, drug response and/or adverse events
d) gene-environment interactions on the NAFLD/NASH drug efficacy and/or adverse events
e) pharmacogenetics-based decision-making algorithms and tools
f) current status and future developments in pharmacogenetics in NAFLD/NASH treatment


Keywords: NAFLD/NASH, genetics, gene-environment interaction, treatment efficacy, adverse events


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