Researchers from Texas, America compared the efficacy of high-dose induction with standard dose interferon therapy for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus at the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
The research group randomly selected patients to receive 5 million units daily interferon-2b for 4-weeks.
The researchers followed this treatment up with 44-weeks of standard dose therapy (3 million units three times a week) for genotype 1 or 20 weeks for non-genotype 1.
Another group of patients received standard dose therapy for the whole of the treatment duration.
The researchers used daily weight-based ribavirin for the entire therapy interval.
In total, 45 patients were enrolled in the trial with genotype 1 comprising 76% of the sample.
The researchers noted that cirrhosis or bridging-fibrosis was present in 69% of the patients.
The group found that of the 29 liver biopsies available for Knodell scoring, 41% and 51% had scores of 6 to 10 and 11 to 15, respectively.
|Rate of sustained virological response was similar between the two treatment groups|
|Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics|
The group's results showed that rates of sustained virological response did not differ significantly between the two treatment groups.
In addition, therapy type and/or early intervention for depression did not affect the rate of therapy discontinuation, which was 26.6%.
Dr Brown concluded, "The rate of sustained virological response was similar between the two treatment groups and higher than anticipated among patients with cirrhosis or bridging-fibrosis".
"The rate of therapy discontinuation was also higher than anticipated but was not attributable to therapy type or untreated depression".