Hepatitis C: Treatment failures – Stay away from interferon

Some patients with hepatitis C should after failure of first-line therapy because of the increased antiviral risk of death should not be treated with pegylated interferon.

GRANADA HILLS. Patients with hepatitis C who have severe fibrosis and do not respond to initial antiviral therapy should not be treated with pegylated interferon. The reason: After monotherapy with the cytokine over several years, a recent meta-analysis of placebo-controlled studies, has increased the risk of death easily.

Nasty Balls    © Springer Verlag

Nasty Balls – © Springer Verlag

Treatment with alpha-interferon was lifted in the 1980s, the care of patients with hepatitis C virus. But now there are more effective drugs such as ribavirin or pegylated interferon combination partner, so the cytokine monotherapy is no longer the first choice for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is.

But there are still patients who do not respond to ribavirin as primary or secondary to treatment interruption and for whom monotherapy with pegylated interferon is attempted. A therapy is considered as successful if half a year after the start of treatment no detectable HCV.

U.S. doctors to the gastroenterologist Dr. Ronald L. Koretz from Granada Hills have now checked against the few available studies, whether HCV patients after failure of first-line therapy or a non-response, benefit from monotherapy with pegylated interferon.

For the analysis only placebo-controlled randomized trials were considered. Primary endpoints were overall and hepatitis C-related mortality, quality of life and side effects.

translated from ÄrzteZeitung (the German Medical Online Journal) by Kiumars