Foreword to the proceedings of the 8th international ALPD symposium, New Delhi, India, November 15–17, 2013
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The 8th International Alcohol Liver and Pancreatic Diseases and Cirrhosis (ALPD) 2013 meeting was organized by the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) in New Delhi, supported in part by a grant from National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)/NIH (1R13AA020697-03) acquired by the Southern California Research Center for ALPD and Cirrhosis.
The unifying theme of this international conference was to share and disseminate “Bench-to-Bedside” innovative studies that explored the pathophysiological changes associated with various stages of alcoholic liver disease (ALD) with special emphasis on the mechanisms underlying the increased susceptibility to chronic and end-stage liver disease. This unifying concept was pursued in the symposium and successfully implemented by one-on-one merging of basic science and clinical science presentations, keynote addresses, and state-of-the-art lectures by authoritative experts from all over the world. The major topics discussed during this two-day meeting were the key cellular, immunological, and molecular events responsible for the progression of alcohol-induced fatty liver to fibrosis and cirrhosis in patients with ALD alone or in combination with obesity, diabetes, and viral hepatitis. The pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) due to alcohol, especially in combination with hepatitis C infection, was also highlighted. Efficacy of conventional and new antiviral drugs for alcoholics infected with hepatitis B or C was presented. There was even a provocative and enlightening debate session of “East versus West” in the treatment modalities for ALD and management options for hepatorenal syndrome. Seminal new discoveries in the field of management of alcoholic hepatitis and pancreatitis were reviewed. Furthermore, the symposium showcased two very successful workshops, one on “Macrophages: Master Regulators of Injury and Regeneration in Liver Diseases,” and another on “Current Barriers and Directions in Liver Cancer Biology.” This interactive two-way dialogue generated better understanding of ALD and its complications that could eventually lead to the identification of at-risk patients in order to enable clinicians to evaluate and treat them at an early stage, avoiding advanced fibrosis, cirrhosis, and HCC.
The seminal contributions by outstanding clinicians and scientists have been compiled after thorough peer review for this supplement, entitled “Proceedings of the ALPD 2013 International Conference.” The major thematic topics included: alcohol and inflammation; alcohol and viral hepatitis; alcohol, viral hepatitis, and HCC; stem cells and HCC; novel therapies for ALD; and alcohol, infection, and mortality. Selected manuscripts on these topics were invited, peer-reviewed as per the journal’s policy, and compiled into the supplement. We believe that this Journal Supplement would serve not only as a “ready-reference” to advance researchers, but also as an authoritative mini-monograph for clinicians in the field of Hepatology and Medicine.
Raj Lakshman, Ph.D.
Hidekazu Tsukamoto, PhD, D.V.M.
Rakhi Maiwall, MD, DM
Manoj Kumar, MD, DM
Shiv K. Sarin, MD, DM