Hepatitis C is a health care problem all over the world, with 130 million patients infected the world over. The treatment is expensive and has variable results according to the genotype of the infecting virus. The first land mark in treatment is the virus clearance at the end of the treatment called End Treatment Response (ETR), but many of the patients achieving the ETR have a relapse within the next six months. Thus, the goal of treatment is to have persistent virus clearance until six months after completing the treatment. This is called Sustained Virological Response (SVR). It is difficult to predict the SVR in patients receiving ongoing therapy.
A team of doctors, led by Dr. Bader Faiyaz Zuberi at Dow University of Health Sciences, Pakistan, conducted a study and their article will be published on April 14, 2008 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology. In this article they show that in patients with genotype-3 HCV who achieve virus clearance in the first four weeks of therapy, called Rapid Virological Response (RVR) with standard interferon, there is a high probability of achieving the SVR. They also show that patients with initial high levels of ALT were also more likely to attain RVR.
The study will help in selection and prediction of response in patients with Hepatitis C being treated with standard interferon. Pegylated interferon is very expensive and is not within the reach of most patients in developing countries.
|Contact: Jing Zhu|
World Journal of Gastroenterology