Navigation Links
HALT-C researchers: Interferon as long-term treatment for hepatitis C not effective
Date:12/4/2008

DALLAS Dec. 4, 2008 Use of the drug interferon as a long-term maintenance strategy to slow the progression of liver disease associated with the hepatitis C virus is ineffective, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers and their colleagues from nine other institutions have found in a multicenter study.

Results of the 3-year study, called the HALT-C (Hepatitis C Antiviral Long-Term Treatment Against Cirrhosis) Trial, appear in today's issue of The New England Journal of Medicine. The researchers found no difference in the rate of progression of liver disease among patients who received interferon and those who did not.

"It wasn't that there was an insignificant difference; there was absolutely no difference whatsoever in the progression to cirrhosis and other disease complications," said Dr. William M. Lee, professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern and a principal investigator for the study. "It is a negative study but an important one."

Dr. Lee said physicians should not expect any benefit from the long-term use of interferon by itself in slowing disease progression. By contrast, use of interferon with other drugs such as ribavirin can lead to viral eradication, or complete clearance of hepatitis C virus, a result that will "stop the disease in its tracks," Dr. Lee said.

Hepatitis C is a viral infection that causes liver inflammation and can progress over many years to cirrhosis, liver cancer, liver failure and death. The disease affects more than 3 million people in the United States and 170 million people worldwide. It is the most common reason for liver transplantation in the U.S.

There is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C virus infection. The combination of interferon and ribavirin works for about 40 percent to 50 percent of people with the virus, while the other 50 percent to 60 percent of patients will continue to progress to later states of liver disease, Dr. Lee said.

In addition to interferon and ribavirin, new drug agents such as protease and polymerase inhibitors are being used in clinical studies at UT Southwestern to improve rates of virus eradication. Food and Drug Administration approval of these agents is likely to be three years away, Dr. Lee said.

In the HALT-C Trial, conducted between August 2000 and June 2007, 1,050 people with hepatitis C who did not respond to initial antiviral treatment were assigned randomly to either a group that received treatment with a type of interferon called peginterferon or to a group that did not. About 120 patients were enrolled at UT Southwestern.

Participants were monitored every three months and underwent liver scans and biopsies at specified intervals through the study period. Researchers found that although the level of hepatitis C virus in blood and certain enzymes in the liver decreased significantly with treatment, there was not a significant difference in ultimate clinical outcome.

"Currently, we use interferon only to clear the virus," said Dr. Lee. "If you cannot clear the virus with treatment, the idea that struggling long term through the side effects of interferon is somehow going to help you rid yourself of cirrhosis is just not plausible any longer."

Some patients cannot tolerate the side effects of the different types of interferon medication, which can cause extreme flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, fatigue, depression, muscle aches, chest pain, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, and weight and hair loss.


'/>"/>

Contact: LaKisha Ladson
lakisha.ladson@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Children Tell Researchers: Well Get Fit if Its Fun
2. Researchers: Ban on fast food TV advertising would reverse childhood obesity trends
3. Researchers: Program discourages HIV transmission in Russia
4. Attacks against medical researchers: Time to take a stand
5. Mayo Clinic researchers: Insulin-boosting medication does not impair ability to survive heart attack
6. Mayo researchers: complementary therapies help patients recover after heart surgery
7. OHSU researchers: Surgery, radiation gives early survival advantage in bile duct cancer
8. Interferon needed for cells to remember how to defeat a virus, UT Southwestern researchers report
9. Only Half of MS Patients Respond to Interferon Therapy
10. Interferon Reduces, Eliminates Viral Infections in Heart Failure Patients
11. Study shows that high-dose, high-frequency interferon produces no additional benefit
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
HALT-C researchers: Interferon as long-term treatment for hepatitis C not effective
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 02, 2016 , ... ‘Tis the season for giving! Today, 20 creative teams ... Family Partnership and the Drug Enforcement Administration as part of the National Red Ribbon ... winning schools who decorated their campuses with this year’s Red Ribbon Week theme: “YOLO. ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... Northridge ... in-house dental plan for all patients. Understanding that budget can play a part ... a number of perks, including discounts on many valuable dental treatments. Options for ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... Wisconsin (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2016 , ... ... in the 2016 Deloitte Wisconsin 75, an annual ranking and recognition of the ... year on the list, having ranked from 2008-2016. In addition, Standard Process was ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2016 , ... ... and mental health treatment has announced the opening of a new residential mental ... for girls with mental health issues such as severe anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorder, ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... The ... stylish design wanted by today’s consumers at an affordable price, is now available ... the new watch is “a game changer” when it comes to the smartwatch. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... , December 2, 2016 ... "In Vitro Diagnostics/IVD Market by Product (Instruments, Reagents, ... Application (Diabetes, Oncology, Cardiology, Nephrology, Infectious Diseases) - ... market is valued at USD 60.22 Billion in ... a CAGR of 5.5% during the forecast period ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2016  The Addiction Treatment Advisory Group (ATAG), ... Care Pharmacy (AMCP), has released detailed findings on ... opioid addiction crisis, including through improved access to ... ATAG,s newly released paper, "The Role of Managed ... many issues around gaps and barriers to addiction ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2, 2016 Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE: ... acquire certain manufacturing assets and capabilities of the Neovasc, ... biological tissue business, as well as a 15% equity ... in cash. The Neovasc advanced biological tissue business makes ... Scientific Lotus™ Valve System. * Upon completion of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: