News from Hepatitis Week of Sept. 7, 2003 / Vol. 3 No. 36
Study: High-Dose Consensus Interferon Helps Few With Chronic Hepatitis C

About 60 percent of patients with chronic hepatitis C fail to respond when treated with interferon alpha-2b plus ribavirin, and r
etreating those patients with high dose consensus interferon helps only a few, according to a study reported in the August issue of the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology.

Consensus interferon (CIFN) is a novel, recombinant type 1 intereron containing 166 amino acids.

Researchers from the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto tested the effectiveness of such treatment in 24 chronic hepatitis C patients and found that encouraging initial results faded as treatment continued.

After six patients withdrew early due to side effects, nine of the remaining 18 participants had undetectable hepatitis C virus RNA after 12 weeks of high dose consensus interferon treatment. Seven of those completed 48 weeks of treatment.

At 48 weeks, hepatitis C virus RNA remained undetectable in only three patients. After six months of follow-up off treatment, only two patients continued to have no detectable hepatitis C virus RNA in their sera.

Other sources: Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology Aug;17(8):479-82