Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Current Hepatitis C Treatments Work Equally Well, Researchers Report

Date:
September 8, 2009
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
The three treatment combinations for clearing the most common form of the hepatitis C virus work equally well with similar side effects, researchers have found. Hepatitis C affects nearly 4 million Americans and leads to cirrhosis and liver cancer but can be arrested permanently in many patients.

The three treatment combinations for clearing the most common form of the hepatitis C virus work equally well with similar side effects, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers and their colleagues in 13 other institutions have found. Hepatitis C affects nearly 4 million Americans and leads to cirrhosis and liver cancer but can be arrested permanently in many patients.

Results of the two-year study, called the Individualized Dosing Efficacy vs. Flat Dosing to Assess Optimal Pegylated Interferon Therapy (IDEAL) Trial, are available online and in the August 7 print issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers compared a standard dose of the long-acting form of interferon alpha with a lower dose and against a different long-acting interferon alfa preparation. Each achieved about 40 percent clearance of the virus.

"It doesn't seem to make any difference which treatment a physician gives a patient," said Dr. William M. Lee, professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern and a principal investigator of the study. "These standard treatments were shown to be equally successful when used in combination with the drug ribavirin to treat hepatitis C, so the comparison needed to be done."

Hepatitis C is the most common reason for liver transplantation in the U.S., and there currently is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C infection.

The IDEAL Trial, conducted between March 2004 and June 2006, included 3,070 patients with the most common and difficult to treat form of hepatitis C virus infection. Participants, who had not received prior treatment, were assigned randomly to groups that received one of the three treatments: a standard dose of peginterferon alfa-2b, a low dose of peginterferon alfa-2b, or peginteferon alfa-2a, each in combination with ribavirin. Sixty-five patients were enrolled at UT Southwestern.

Participants received 48 weeks of treatment and then were followed for six months to see if the virus remained absent from blood samples. A patient is said to have achieved sustained virologic response if six months after treatment the virus remains gone. It is then highly unlikely that the virus will return.

Researchers monitored side effects of the interferon medications throughout the study period. Side effects include extreme flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, fatigue, depression, muscle aches, chest pain, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, and weight and hair loss.

"There wasn't any difference in side effects either," Dr. Lee said.

Although there was little difference overall in treatment results, researchers did find that women achieved higher rates of virus clearance with the standard dose of peginterferon alfa-2b.

Dr. Lee is currently researching new drug agents such as protease and polymerase inhibitors that, in addition to interferon and ribavirin, could improve rates of virus eradication.

Also involved in the study were researchers from the Duke Clinical Research Institute and Duke University Medical Center; Alamo Medical Research in San Antonio; Kelsey Research Foundation in Houston; the Liver Institute at Methodist Medical Center in Dallas; Liver Specialists of Texas in Houston; Virginia Commonwealth University; Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center in Calif.; University of Miami Center for Liver Diseases; South Florida Center of Gastroenterology; Saint Louis University School of Medicine; Schering-Plough Research Institute in Kenilworth, N.J.; and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

The study was funded by Schering-Plough Corp.

Dr. Lee has received lecture fees from Schering-Plough; research and grant support from Beckman Coulter, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, GlobeImmune, Schering-Plough and Vertex Pharmaceuticals; and consulting or advisory fees from Gilead, Eli Lilly, Novartis and Westat.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Current Hepatitis C Treatments Work Equally Well, Researchers Report." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090807091024.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2009, September 8). Current Hepatitis C Treatments Work Equally Well, Researchers Report. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090807091024.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Current Hepatitis C Treatments Work Equally Well, Researchers Report." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090807091024.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins