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 25 April 2018

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News

Pegylated interferon therapy is effective for chronic hepatits C

Once weekly PEG interferon alpha-2a is associated with a greater sustained virological response in patients with chronic hepatitis C, compared with its unmodified counterpart, according to researchers from the USA.

News image

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The researchers assessed the ability of an enhanced interferon (IFN) to maintain an IFN concentration sufficient to suppress viral replication.

The enhanced molecule was produced by the covalent attachment of a branched 40-kd polyethylene glycol (PEG) moiety to IFN alpha-2a. This molecule exhibits sustained absorption, a restricted volume of distribution, and reduced clearance compared with unmodified IFN alpha-2a.

The team enrolled 159 patients with chronic hepatitis C in the randomized, ascending-dose (45, 90, 180, or 270g) study. PEG IFN alpha-2a administered once weekly was compared with 3 MIU IFN alpha-2a administered 3 times weekly for 48 weeks.

Measurement of hepatitis C virus RNA following a 24-week treatment-free period was used to assess efficacy.

Sustained virological responses for PEG IFN alpha-2a:
45g: 10%
90g: 30%
180g: 36%
270g: 29%
Response for IFN alpha-2a: 3%
Hepatology
The findings of the trial were reported in February's issue of Hepatology.

Sustained virological responses for PEG IFN alpha-2a once weekly were 10% (45 g), 30% (90 g), 36% (180 g), and 29% (270 g), compared with 3% for the 3-times-weekly 3-MIU IFN alpha-2a regimen.

The types and frequencies of adverse events and laboratory abnormalities were similar among all groups.

Researcher K. Rajender Reddy of Miami, Florida concluded, "Once-weekly PEG IFN alpha-2a was associated with a higher number of sustained virological responses compared with IFN alpha-2a 3 times weekly in patients with chronic hepatitis C, but had a similar safety profile.

"180-g PEG IFN alpha-2a appeared to be the optimal dose based on sustained virological response and its associated side-effect profile."

Hepatology 2001; 33: 433-8
13 February 2001

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