Interferon plus ribavirin in chronic hepatitis C non-responders to recombinant alpha-interferon.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the most appropriate therapeutic protocol for patients with chronic hepatitis C not responding to a previous course of recombinant interferon alpha-2b (rIFN). Sixty patients were randomly assigned to two groups of 30 subjects each: group A was treated with double dose of the same type of rIFN (6 MU t.i.w.) plus ribavirin for 6 months; group B was treated with the same rIFN dose and duration as group A, but without ribavirin. An end of treatment complete response (ETCR) was defined as alanine transaminase (ALT) normalization with undetectable serum HCV-RNA at the end of the treatment, while an end of treatment biochemical response (ETBR) as ALT normalization with still detectable viraemia. The two groups were homogeneous. The patients with ETCR or ETBR were than followed-up for at least 1 year. A sustained biochemical response (SBR) was defined as the persistence of normal ALT with still detectable viraemia after a 12-month follow-up, and a sustained complete response (SCR) as the persistence of normal ALT with undetectable viraemia. Side-effects were only observed in patients treated with rIFN plus ribavirin: four cases (13%) discontinued the therapy owing to haemolytic anaemia. Combination therapy induced an ETCR in 11 patients (37%) and an ETBR in six (20%), while a SCR was observed in two subjects (7%) and a SBR in four (13%). The use of a double dose of rIFN alone obtained an ETCR in four cases (13%) and an ETBR in five (17%), with a SCR in two (7%) and a SBR in three (10%). Hence, both combination therapy and single treatment with higher rIFN doses were unable to show statistically significant long-term benefits in patients with chronic hepatitis C resistant to a previous course of rIFN treatment.
AuthorsG Bresci, G Parisi, M Bertoni, F Scatena, A Capria
JournalJournal of viral hepatitis (J Viral Hepat) Vol. 7 Issue 1 Pg. 75-8 (Jan 2000) ISSN: 1352-0504 [Print] ENGLAND
PMID10718946 (Publication Type: Clinical Trial, Comparative Study, Journal Article, Randomized Controlled Trial)
Chemical References
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferon-alpha
  • RNA, Viral
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Ribavirin
  • interferon alfa-2b
  • Alanine Transaminase
  • Adult
  • Alanine Transaminase (blood)
  • Antiviral Agents (therapeutic use)
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic (drug therapy)
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha (therapeutic use)
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • RNA, Viral (blood)
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Ribavirin (therapeutic use)
  • Treatment Outcome

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