Reduction of relapse rates by 18-month treatment in chronic hepatitis C
- Interesting, but it really makes you wonder how much better the
results might have been if they had used PEGYLATED interferon instead
of that old 3 times a week!!!
J Hepatol. 2004 Apr;40(4):689-695.
Reduction of relapse rates by 18-month treatment in chronic hepatitis
C. A Benelux randomized trial in 300 patients.
Brouwer JT, Nevens F, Bekkering FC, Bourgeois N, Van Vlierberghe H,
Weegink CJ, Lefebvre V, Van Hattum J, Henrion J, Delwaide J, Hansen
BE, Schalm SW, For The Benelux Study Group On Treatment Of Chronic
Department of Hepatogastroenterology, Erasmus Medical Center,
Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Treatment of chronic hepatitis C with interferon can
be ineffective due to relapse. We aimed to reduce the 40% relapse
rate of 6 months interferon-ribavirin combination therapy by
prolonging treatment to 18 months. METHODS: Three hundred patients
with treatment-naive hepatitis C, were randomized to 18 months
combination therapy with interferon (3MU tiw) and ribavirin
(1000-1200 mg/day), 18 months interferon combined with placebo, or 6
months combination therapy with interferon and ribavirin, in a double
blinded manner. All 295 patients who received at least one dose of
treatment were included in the intention to treat analysis. RESULTS:
At the end of treatment, HCV RNA was undetectable in 55 and 49% of
those on 6 and 18 months combination therapy, respectively, versus
26% of those on monotherapy (P<0.001). The relapse rate was 38% for 6
months combination therapy, 38% for 18 months monotherapy, and only
13% for 18 months combination treatment (P=0.002). The sustained
response rates were 34% for 6 months combination therapy, 16% for 18
months monotherapy and 43% for 18 months combination therapy
(P<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Reduction of relapse rates to 15% or less is
feasible by prolongation of interferon-ribavirin treatment to 18
PMID: 15030987 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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