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Interferon does not slow or stop hepatitis C from worsening, study finds
Date:11/9/2007

ive liver disease.

The trial assessed whether long-treatment with peginterferon prevented the patients from developing cirrhosis, liver failure or liver cancer. Roughly half of the patients in the study received 90 micrograms of peginterferon in weekly injections for 3.5 years. The other half, the control group, underwent the same follow-up and care as the treated patients, including liver biopsies, quarterly clinic visits and blood tests.

At the end of the study, while patients treated with interferon did have significantly lower blood levels of the hepatitis C virus and less liver inflammation, 34.1 percent of them had experienced one or more of the following outcomes: excess fluid in the abdomen; brain and nervous system damage; cirrhosis (for those who did not have it initially); liver cancer; or death. Of patients in the control group, 33.8 percent experienced one or more of the outcomes.

Among treated patients, adverse side effects had caused 17 percent to stop peginterferon after 18 months and 30 percent to stop treatment by the end of the trial.


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Contact: Donn Walker
dwalke18@slu.edu
314-977-8015
Saint Louis University
Source:Eurekalert

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