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Synthetic Interferon May Be Useful for Hep C Retreatment

Treatment showed benefit for patients who failed treatment with pegylated interferon, ribavirin

MONDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) -- Daily treatment with consensus interferon (CIFN) and ribavirin (RBV) may be beneficial in patients with hepatitis C who failed with other treatment, according to research published in the June issue of Hepatology.

Bruce R. Bacon, M.D., of the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, and colleagues analyzed data from 487 patients with chronic hepatitis C infection who had failed to respond to previous therapy with pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and RBV. Subjects were randomly assigned to receive CIFN at 9 μg or 15 μg daily, along with RBV.

The researchers found that the treatment was associated with a sustained virologic response (SVR) rate of 6.9 percent in the 9 μg group and 10.7 percent in the 15 μg group. Patients who had a greater than 2-log10 decrease in viral RNA during prior PEG-IFN/RBV therapy had higher SVR rates (11 percent in the 9 μg group and 23 percent in the 15 μg group). Common adverse events leading to dose modification included neutropenia, fatigue, and leucopenia.

"The present study demonstrated that some patients with chronic hepatitis C who have failed to respond to treatment with PEG-IFN and RBV can be successfully retreated with daily CIFN and RBV. The greatest SVR rate during retreatment in the present study was observed in F0 to F3 patients who had a partial virologic response during their prior course of treatment," the authors write.

The study was sponsored by InterMune Inc. and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, with support from Three Rivers Pharmaceuticals. Most of the authors reported financial relationships with Valeant, Three Rivers, or other companies.

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