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Interferon-Free Treatments Are Imminent for Hep C

Nicole Cutler L.Ac. July 3, 2012

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Although not available yet, interferon-free treatment for Hepatitis C is coming – representing a significant improvement in fighting this prevalent viral infection.

Composing one half or one third of the currently prescribed Hepatitis C therapy regimens, interferon is a fierce drug. Due to an inability to tolerate interferon, many people are deemed “non-responders” to Hepatitis C treatment. Luckily, there are a handful of interferon-free treatment regimens in trials that are showing great promise for previous non-responders.

We are witnessing an exciting time in Hepatitis C treatment progress. Combination therapy with pegylated interferon and ribavirin long stood as the standard of care for chronic Hepatitis C infection. Effective in achieving a cure in about half of those on the treatment, these drugs are associated with extremely challenging side effects.

Administered as an injection, interferon has been used since the late 1980s in the treatment of chronic Hepatitis C. Improving its usability, pegylated interferon rendered the drug long-acting. Adding orally administered ribavirin dramatically increased interferon’s efficacy in clearing Hepatitis C. Although interferon is still standard in the treatment of chronic Hepatitis C, its side effects can be brutal. Common interferon-related side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Low appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Skin itching and rash
  • Hair loss
  • Cough and chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Anemia (suppression of bone marrow’s production of red blood cells)
  • Neutropenia (suppression of bone marrow’s production of leukocytes)
  • Thrombocytopenia (suppression of bone marrow’s production of blood platelets)
  • Visual changes
  • Thyroid problems

In the spring of 2011, Hepatitis C treatment leapt forward with the approval of two new drugs, telaprevir and boceprevir. These direct-acting, antiviral, protease inhibitors increase the effectiveness of interferon and ribavirin in a shorter amount of time. However, interferon’s side effects remain a major reason people either are not candidates for, or delay or refuse treatment. Thus, effective, safe, interferon-free treatment regimens represent the current goal of drug manufacturers, fueling a majority of today’s Hepatitis C research.

Finally, the quest to produce an interferon-free drug protocol appears within Western medicine’s reach. Data from various studies in the first part of 2012 has brought great expectation to the future of Hepatitis C treatment. With heavy investing in this arena, keep an eye out for progress from the following list of hopefuls from seven different pharmaceutical companies:

  • Bristol-Myers Squibb – Asunaprevir and Daclatasvir
  • Roche – Danoprevir and Mericitabine and Setrobuvir
  • Merck – Vaniprevir
  • Boehringer Ingelheim – BI 201335 and BI 207127
  • Janssen – TMC435
  • Gilead – GS7977 and Tegobuvir
  • Vertex – VX-222

Although not a comprehensive list, three examples of encouraging preliminary trial results are:

  1. As reported in April of 2012, an interferon-free combination of BI 201335, BI 207127 and ribavirin given for 12 weeks yielded a 68 percent success rate in those with Hepatitis C genotype 1.
  2. As reported in early 2012, combination therapy with asunaprevir and daclatasvir for 12 weeks suppressed Hepatitis C virus genotype 1 infection in 90 percent of previous non-responders.
  3. As reported in April of 2012 at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver, a preliminary study of mericitabine, danoprevir and ribavirin showed over a 70 percent success rate against treatment naïve Hepatitis C genotype 1.

Although experts believe it may be another three to five years for the first interferon-free combinations for Hepatitis C infection to become available, they agree that more effective, easier to tolerate treatment cocktails are undoubtedly on their way.

References:

http://www.aidsmap.com/Full-speed-ahead-to-curing-hep-C/page/2368492/, Full Speed Ahead to CURING Hepatitis C, Liz Highleyman, Retrieved July 1, 2012, NAM Publications, 2012.

http://www.gastroendonews.com/ViewArticle.aspx?d=Breaking+News&d_id=409&i=February+2012&i_id=809&a_id=20098, New Study of Interferon-free HCV Therapy Hailed as ‘Watershed Moment’ in Hep C Research, Christina Frangou, Retrieved July 1, 2012, McMahon Publishing, 2012.

http://www.hepatitis.va.gov/provider/reviews/treatment-side-effects.asp#S1X, Interferon and Ribavirin Treatment Side Effects, Retrieved July 1, 2012, US Department of Veteran Affairs, 2012.

http://www.hepcassoc.org/Hepatitiscnews-2012-feb9.html, Hepatitis C News, William F. Balistreri, MD, Hepatitis C Association, Inc, 2012.

http://www.natap.org/2012/EASL/EASL_52.htm, Interferon-Free Treatment with a Combination of Mericitabine and Danoprevir/R With or Without Ribavirin in Treatment-Naïve HCV Genotype 1-Infected Patients, Jules Levin, Retrieved July 1, 2012, EASL 47th Annual Meeting, 2012.

http://us.boehringer-ingelheim.com/news_events/press_releases/press_release_archive/2012/april_19_2012.html, Phase 2b Study of Boehringer Ingelheim’s Interferon-Free Hepatitis C Treatment Shows Undetectable Virus in HCV Genotype-1 Patients 12 Weeks After Treatment Ended (SVR12), Retrieved July 1, 2012, Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, 2012.

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HepatitisCentral.com provides information regarding hepatitis and liver disease. Comments are available to the community in order to discuss these topics and obtain answers to questions through community members. The Editors at HepatitisCentral.com will not be responding to questions or comments posed in article comments.

  • Marty

    Been waiting for something like this for a long time !!

    • Linda Balzano

      me too but WHEN?

  • Dale Antonson

    Please let us know when there is more information available about these alternative treatments.

  • phyllis Yates

    this is great, but for the most , the cost is more than I and am sure for others is out of a choice. when on retirement its tough.

    • Debbie

      There are many free trials for these drugs being conducted. I know so are available in San Antonio, Tx. Just google them up and don’t give up hope. Good luck!

  • Sharon Grisham

    This is what I’ve been praying for for a very long time. In early 2010 I participated in a clinical trial using a triple combination of Interferon/Ribiviran/Boceprevir. I had to withdraw at 9 weeks due to the devastating side effects of Interferon. To say the least, I am very excited.

  • MBC

    Non-responder X3, hope it will be in time.

  • Gregory

    Check out European or Russian doctors

  • Airbornemedic

    If anyone knows of any clinical trials for this treatment are going on, I would appreciate the information as I need the treatment now… Thanks,

    • man

      i have g 4 have treatement with roche company.after 4 week i reduced viral load form 90,000 to 1,000. i hope will negative the virus at 12 week.

    • Debbie

      Believe there
      are several trials going on in San Antonio, Tx under the direction of Dr,Lawritz. You can google all the info on him. Just type in Hepatitis c research in san antonio, Dr. lawritz. Good luck.

    • cvsnow

      http://www.hepccenter.org/clinical_trial/ Try this link. I live up in the mountains of Arizona and there are no treatments anywhere near me. Good luck.

      • cj

        Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale…very helpful initially, but I didn’t fit the criteria for their programs.

    • CJ

      clinicaltrials.gov

  • Hi folks, I’ve signed up for the Gilead – GS7977/ Ribiviron 16 week drug trail program, here in Vancouver BC. Three years ago, I underwent a 6 month peg. interferon/ ribiviron treatment for geno type 2. I cleared at the 3 month PCR test. However, I tested positive again at the 3 mo post test. I deliberated with the treatment specialists and because of the intolerable side effects, I experienced, it was in my best interests, to wait until the new drugs became available. I was advised that it would be about a three year wait. It will be 4 years in September One of the hindering symptoms that I cope with is arthralgia. This condition is an arthritic related disease caused by either chemicals or viruses in the liver. I cannot exert myself at an aggressive level because of the pain in my knees and back. It means that I have to think twice before I commit to physical activities, even doing mechanical work on my car. I have problems with stairs for example. However, thankfully, I can do a cardio work out to maintain my weight.

    Thanks to the thoughtfulness of my nurse Leslie and Dr Viljeon, at Vancouver Coastal health, I am now going to start the GS-7977 drug trial July17th.I asked Leslie if I could still work at my part time job as a street cleaner 2 four hour shifts a week and it was a yes. This is about all I can do now. I know that I may still have some side effects to deal with, but not as intense. The way I feel now is, I would almost give anything to rid myself of this awful thing that is hindering me, depriving me of my everyday life and successful progress.

    In addition, I have a fellow treatment friend, with geno type 3 that is under going the same trial. It’s a coincidence, but we started on the same day back in September 2008. The fellow just completed his second 6 month interferon/ribiviron treatment plan and it returned at the 3 mo post PCR. He had some serious side effects, but is going through with this one too.

    My Regards Leon.

    • I’m also geno 3 and relapsed after 6 mnth int/riba tx. I wish I could get in a trial with gs-7977. I wish you SVR xo

    • Drink water, lot’s of it

  • paul taylor

    This cannot come soon enough. Interferon is a vile drug and for null responders like me a total waste of time.

  • TOMMY

    Another 3 to 5 yrs….Fighting this now for near 20 yrs. and just getting sicker and…..Enough of this! I lived near 60 yrs. and this now is no life. I am no coward but just too long and too much of everything.
    Wish ya all the best though,
    TOMMY..

    • Jim Campbell

      Hi, Tom;
      don’t throw the towel just yet. There’re always Silimarin-, artichoke-, chilean boldo-, brazilian jurubeba-, the Russo-german viscum album-treatments, to keep the wee blue bastards at bay. Maintaining a diet, and using all of the above-cited whenever possible, I’m living (!) proof of there being other than conventional pharmaco-alopathics. Besides: The Chinese, and other peoples do not blindly ascribe to I+R-treatments; yet they’re not dying like flies! Why?

    • Don’t give up yet, Tommy. The new treatments are showing great promise.

    • half past dead

      Tommy: I understand how you feel been dealing with this hell for years and can’t cant ake it anymore.I’m near the end for the rest of you.keep up the fight.

    • Moe

      Hang in there buddy!

  • Carol

    How do I participate in the trials? I’ve had Hep C for many years and am genotype 1. I haven’t had any treatment so far but have been told by my doctor that I have cirrosis but haven’t had a biopsy so i don’t know how far its progressed.
    Thanks–

    • Mike

      ..Carol I have had hep-c for yrs and take gods remedy.A natural herb product. I have been symptom free for yrs call Steph. 877 929 1113 Mike

      • cheryl

        Mike, What is the natural herb you take.

    • Fran

      Carol, go ahead and have the biopsy done. I have had two in the last 3 years. So far, Thank God, I am only in Fatty Liver stage of HepC 3. The procedure doesn’t hurt much at all and they do keep an eye on ya and give you pain meds afterward. Go for the bio first before making any decisions. I am patiently waiting for new treatments myself. I do have the fatigue that goes with this disease but I cannot bring myself to be a miserable physical basket case with these other treatments!

      • Carol

        Fran,
        Give thanks for your fast reply. I’ve seen 3 doctors so far but didn’t feel comfortable with any of them; 2 said I needed treatment, the 3rd said I have cirrosis–he could tell from my lab tests, but was very offhand about it. I’m seeing him again since the blood tests I had recently showed a much higher AST and ALT, and I’m seeing a 4th “specialist” later this month. I don’t want the interferon treatment. I really appreciate being able to communicate with another person with Hep C and I too am patiently waiting for the new drugs but would definitely consider being a trial participant.

        • jacqui

          AST and ALT can be high without significant liver damage. They can also be normal, even in the case of cirhossis. Most specialists will recommend treatment since its all they have to offer you. A biopsy will confirm cirhossis but just AST and ALT will not. Ask him specifically what tests he is basing his opinion of cirhossis on and ask him to explain. There are other signs of liver damage also. The palms, skin and fluid retention in the abdomen and lower extremities.

          • Carol

            Hi Jacqui,
            He said he could tell from my platelets. I don’t have a lot of confidence in him. CAN you tell from platelets??

          • stevo13

            My Dr. used blood work instead of a biopsy. She said she would perform one if I wanted it. I took her advice and began treatment without the biopsy. Took pegintron,ribaviran and Incevik. Clear at 4 weeks,8,12 and 24. Go in month for 6 mo. VL. I believe it was my platelet count that guided her decisions. My count started at 122, and eventually got as low as 55, but she had faith that I could handle the drugs. Her goal was to finish the Incivek regimine. Seems as though it worked. Back to normal for now.

          • Platelets do give an indication.. But an overview of several blood tests can provide a more accurate picture.

    • mik008

      Carol,i have got to say that if Fran says that the biopsy was a piece of cake than she was lucky i had a bio two years ago and i would not wish this procedure on an enemy,its the same as getting stabbed witch is exactly what they due,not once but they have too due it two times,it was very painful.and the problem with bio is they cant tell how much scaring and fat that you have so if you get it now and then a year down the road it will be the same,they are now with in the next year coming out with a new scan that will be able to tell if the fibrosis has escalated or not so new things all the time,my count for years has gone up and down but now has stabilized,i stopped alcohol eight years ago witch was a no brain-er as i would not be here now if i would have continued,if you have a stable count i would talk it over with your DR and wait for better treatment. I was diagnosed 18 years ago.

      • Carol

        Thanks Mike. I’m seeing the doctor this week and will hopefully have more info. Even though I’ve had blood tests specific for Hep C at least 4 times over the last 2 years, I still don’t know my viral count, I called the lab(s) and they won’t give me the info, saying a hepatologist has to tell me! So frustrating dealing with these doctors. If this doctor doesn’t know, (I have copies of all the tests he has) I assume I’ll have yet another blood test this week. I appreciate all the responses from everyone!

  • Kenny

    i was diagnosed with HPC type one 4 months ago. Treatment could not begin until I was alcohol free for six months.I have been clean for the past 4 months and planning on staying that way.biopsy came back with no cyrosis of the liver. I am wondering if I should hold off for new treatments or go for it now…..anyone’s imput is appreciated .

    • Lynn

      If I were you; wait till this new treatment comes out. My doc tells me 2014. I am just finishing up the 48 week interferon, ribavirin, teleprivar combo and this time it has worked. I was a non-responder 7 years ago. This one is good, but as the article says, its rough.

    • cvsnow

      Have you had a liver biopsy??? do you know how advanced it is??? I was diagnosed with Hep C in 2003 and I was a #1 out of 4. 4 being end stage liver disease. I am now a #2. I can’t tell you what to do but I myself would wait as long as you can for oral treatment…. you need to find out how advanced your disease is first.

    • alan v

      If you dont have cirrosiss you can achieve un detectable viruis recovery…….tri therapy…..in 24 wks……dont play with your health brother its all you got……stay clean and be good to yourself….if you tell your health care people you still drink they wont treat you….bottom line…….live or die…your choice……enjoy the simple things… its the real gift you get in this life.

    • jonsyb

      what they dont tell about interferon is that the side effects can be permanent and can greatly reduce the quality of life long after treatment! and you may or may not be cured and it will most likely come back after a couple years! this happened to me so i know what im talking about! my advice is to live clean and wait for a better treatment, rather than gamble with the health you already have! i have IBS, am weak all the time , dizzy spells, hair did not grow back, dryed out my skin eyes and mouth. easily herniated muscles… the list goes on, and my liver function is fine, all this was caused from the medication, and i relapsed after 8 months!!! dont do it!!

      • I was one of the people here in the UK to get on the early interferon combo trials, at the time I was as fit as a fiddle, had not seen a doctor for over 10 years, was running a large NGO, lecturing and teaching- 6 months of treatment and I was a wreck, eventually unable to work at all and developed fibromyalgia as well as still suffering virtually all of the side effects listed (except hair loss) and a number that are not listed (like loss of libido). For years no one would admit the possibility that the medication did this to me- it took over ten years til I was told that my health problems “were most likely due to an iatrogenic effect of the medication”- strange thing is I have always had pretty normal liver function according to the blood tests, but that did not stop the development of cirrhosis or lesions on my Liver (luckily benign at the moment). I never achieved a sustained viral response either- to my mind the medication ruined my life- I am stage 4 now and hope I still have the time to wait for the new treatments to come through- if only Bristl Myers would work with Gillead as the best results of all came from combining GS7977 with Daclatasvir. These two drugs had near 100% success with geno 1-. which has proved resistant to the interferon combo’s. However, Gilead have decided to put profits ahead of lives and wait til they have a combo they wholly own!!! outragious!! Like the person above I think you should stay clean and if your Liver shows no sign of fibrosis- then wait for the new treatments.

    • Pete

      Kenny, I was diagnosed with HCV in 2005. Tried treatment in 2006. Ribavarin and interfuron for 6 months, no success. Tryed again Jan 27 2012 for 5 weeks. ribavarin, interfuron and incivek . Iam still very sick from those meds. Will never try again. I also had a biopsy such as yours. Stoped drinking almost 22 years ago. My advise is think about ALL side affects, and what it will do to your loved ones. I had no sucess with last treatment.

    • thewildebill

      Please do as much research as you can before starting. Interview people who’ve undergone treatment, talk with your family – seriously – and consider all side effects as potential and serious consequence. I took treatment w/o these steps and came very near death. I had insisted on maintaining treatment because I didn’t want it to be for naught; however, I was at death’s door and could NOT take another pill. The Dr. had to stop all medications. I’ve since been on an intensive program to help clear all medications from my system – this has been very effective and am not much better. Please exercise great caution and study every potential consequence with care. This can be very serious. I almost died.

      • thewildebill

        Correction – The intensive program for clearing the meds has been very successful and I am MUCH better – somehow didn’t see the word NOT in this string on my last post.

    • Theshot1960

      I had a transplant july 2011, tried the interferon / ribbavarin treatment 2 times prior to x-plant, I responded but could not handle side effects,,,,Give it a try anything is better than transplant and a life time of pill taking post transplant…and expensive if insurance does not cover….

    • Charlene Mangan

      I think you should take the treatment for iterferon i hear it works..I have no cirrhoisis thank god, me either…thank god, i have genotype 1b what is yoursw write me on my email ok! [email protected]

  • ED

    Ive had Hep c type 1 for 8 years. I’ve tried the 6 month treatment and the the 3 month with teleprevir. No success, so my doc says we wait for non interferon drugs. Teleprevir was rough but almost killed it off and then it came back. I would do this drug as its working on alot of us, but you have to keep trying to fight to the end. Always there has to be hope in your heart to believe in yourself.

  • Josie

    I sure wish there was more research done on Geno type 3 (3e is what I have). I relapsed after 6 months treatment. I hesitate to go ahead with current drugs and I hesitate to try new ones since I see no research addressing Type 3. Is there anyone who knows anything about this?

    • I’m in the same boat as you. I wish we had an answer! Hang in there xo

    • Vickie

      Hi…I am a 3 too and there are new clinical trials from what my kaiser liver doctors tell me. They love older, type 3 genos. I just had 2nd liver biopsy and know its bad, but find out next week th real deal. San Diego, ca veterans have trials and I will be getting more info next week from docs. Sure don’t want a transplant, so we gotta look for these newbies. 90% success on these for #3. Good luck

  • John Taylor

    Tried peg & ribo. therapy 8 yrs. ago and became anemic 2 wks. in , and had to stop ! Been waiting ever since . If they would only put the politics and MONEY aside !!!!

  • yoshi

    What about the success rate in genotype 2?

    • guest

      Yoshi: I believe it’s ~70% or better for type 2. I had type 2 Hep c for maybe 40 years, yes 40 years. I had tried all kinds of herbals but in late 2010 I finally went it and had pegylated interferon and ribavirin treatment. For me, it was a 12 week treatment. My viral count at the4 time of treatment was >5 million units. I have an appointment next month to check virus status but my last three check ups since I’ve finished treatment have been negative. Get your treatment!

      • yoshi

        I’ve have had genotype 2 since 1971..enzymes always high but didn’t know why until 1999 when I had unrelated test results. Stopped drinking immediately. I’ve done the herbal route but fear the interferon for it’s potential to cause depression or impair immunity. Was the treatment emotionally hard?
        Great going on your negative results! It’s impressive when the body responds so well to treatment and equally impressive that you toughed it out.

        • For me, the treatment was bad, but not all that bad. If you are genotype 2, I might go for it. But if you can afford to wait for the new treatments, that could be your best avenue. They are showing amazing results.

          • yoshi

            Thanks…hope the treatment worked for you.

  • Adel

    I am Egyptian ,and my Geno type 1 that is not usual in
    Egypt (type 4 most usual there ) – i had (1.5 million IU/ml )- my liver fibro
    scan result F0 END last year I finish
    the treatment with interferon and
    ribavirin at 5th week load become 2000 IU/ml and after 12 week was negative , I
    finished the complete course 48 weeks at end was negative – 6 months later I made PCR I found 200000 IU/ml – then I made
    IL28B rs12979860 genotype I found my
    type C/T which is not working good with
    interferon and ribavirin , do anyone please knows one liver doctor specialist in
    Geno type 1 so he can explain to me why is that , and what I have to do ??

    My email [email protected]

    Thanks

    • cvsnow

      Hello, I also have Hep C genotype 1A which is the most difficult to cure. In your part of the world, genotype 2 or 3 is common. If you have genotype 1a and you share a needle or a straw with someone that has genotype 2….. you could have both 1 and 2. I tried the Interferon treatment and it almost killed me. I must now wait for non-interferon treatment… it will be a year so or so… I take care of my liver with different supplements.

      Following is a list of the different genotypes of chronic Hepatitis C:

      Genotype 1a

      Genotype 1b

      Genotype 2a, 2b, 2c & 2d

      Genotype 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, 3e & 3f

      Genotype 4a, 4b, 4c, 4d, 4e, 4f, 4g, 4h, 4i & 4j

      Genotype 5a

      Genotype 6a
      Genotype 1 is the most common type of Hepatitis C genotype in the United States and the most difficult to treat.

    • Alicia

      Contact Digestive Healthcare of Georgia. Dr. Sims is tops in the field. The number is 404-355-3200. This is in Atlanta, GA.
      God bless.
      Alicia

  • Gloria

    If anyone is looking to find support groups for the Hep C, Hepatitis Central had a wonderful forum. http://ca.mg6.mail.yahoo.com/neo/launch mega information and support. Another is a Yahoo Group names [email protected]

    Excellent places to learn about all geno types of the Hep C as well as have support.

  • PC

    Leon, I’m Canadian too but live in the S.F. bay area. I’d fly up to Vancouver if I could get into that drug trial. A nurse erroneously told the head of the drug trial place here that I didn’t want to be on it, when I’d actually rearranged my life to be in on the trial. Once again I’m on a waiting list.
    I did I drug trial in March, but unfortunately got the placebo. Once I found a hepatologist, I now have to wait THREE MONTHS for an appointment. American medical racket is a bloody drag.
    Naive Genotype 1b, just diagnosed in Feb., probably have had it 26 years. Tired, arthralgia, etc., the usual symptoms, fatigue, brain fog etc etc.

  • Fred

    I am 57 yr. I have had it for 37 years. My enzyme levels are almost normal with an experimental naturopathic iv remedy I’ve started recently. I’ve controlled it through no booze, other iv work like glutathione and more. The new one involves turmeric. I’ll update in a couple of months but over the years I’ve gone from enzyme levels being 10x normal to now only 1.5x normal. Eat well exercise do yoga and don’t panic. Nobody talks about the damage that drugs like interferon have done. Whats the point if it destroys the liver that holds the virus anyways? I’ve turned them down with there studies in Vancouver and so far I’m glad I did.

    • shadowcat

      I’ve been curious about IV therapy and researched it a bit – they do vitamin C, and a combo; don’t recall what exactly at a place near me here in Albany NY. Would be interested in chatting about any info you have. How can we share p.m’s??

    • joaquin

      Please, send me more info about your treatment. Thank you.

    • cheryl

      Fred I would like to know a little bit more about your naturopathic treatment. I am going to see a naturalpathic dr tomorrow which is July 10,2012. What is your genotype, I am 57 and have had the virus for 37 years also. I am genotype 1a. Let me know whata you know. My email is [email protected], Thanks Cheryl

    • Icelandic woman

      I totally agree with you. I´m 57 yr and have had it since 1984, did the combo treatment in 2002 without results. I am in good health even though fatigue gets to me from day to day and I´ve always worked full time and often done some studies on the side. This is what I do: No booze or smoking, max 1-2 cups of coffee a day, healthy diet, milk thistle, excercise and yoga. See my doctor 1-2 a yr for blood testing and least but not last; don´t think to much of it – lot of people have worse things to deal with.

      • Moe

        that is soooo true!

  • PC

    How can I get into the drug trial? I’ll fly to Canada….am Canadian but have never used the health service there. Tired of waiting here. Thanks, PC

    • mik008

      well i think that you have to be registered as a Canadian citizen have a Canadian address and depending on witch province your in get covered by the health care in that province,as every province has there on health care,and as far as i know they all cover the treatment witch is very expensive 40 to 60 thousand.yeah again why so expensive,its just a huge shame that these drug companies have to get so rich off of peoples misery.

      • PC

        Thanks so much. I have an address in West Van & a bank account there. My relatives live in N.S. & I have land there, no house. I got an appointment with an M.Diety at UCSF (prestigious but who knows how good? Maybe just overbooked & snobby) for THREE MONTHS from now just to see a liver specialist. Will probably be a 15 min. appt. at the most, and I’ll feel like the usual domestic animal being shunted through a shute, to be fleeced at the end. And my $577/mo insurance probably doesn’t cover squat of all the lab tests they’ll do. American medicine’s shameful, larcenous. Nasty insurance & Big Pharma rackets. Cruel even, I’d go so far as to say.
        Americans are sheeple to put up with the crap the medical INDUSTRY fobs off on them.
        Thanks for the advice.

      • MADD

        ALL SHOULD GET UNITE AND THEN MAKE UR VOICE SO STRONG THAT PEOPLE SITTING IN POWER CORIDOORS COULD NOT IGNORE U. THREAT THEM TO VOTE AGAINST THEM IF THEY DONT PROMISE TO CUT THE COSTS ON HCV MED.THEREBY CONTRLLING THESE MERCILESS PHARMA COMPANIES…..THESE R LIFE SAVING DRUGS THERE SHOULD BE NO PATENT ON THEM SO THE GENERIC FORMS WOULD BE AVAILABLE WHICH WILL BE 70 TO 80 % LESS COSTS.THAN THESE COMPANIES MEDS

  • Dave

    Dave,
    Freds comment is interesting. I and many others who have done the 48 week treatment with interferon/ribavrin where it went away and returned. The interferon worked on me where I did not think I could make the 48 week duration. I am now approved to take the telaprivir combo. They say I would have a 90% chance of success because I did the program once. The interferon ghost is still there. I sense they are pushing the flavor of the month depending on what drug company they align with. I have been through every test and procedure they could conjure. The list of pending cures that may be approved in the USA have a very short treatment duration. So if I can wait would it not be more logical to avoid the interferon which will take almost a year to finish when another 12 week cure comes along at or prior to the interferon treatment completion. Started clean living foods, exercise etc. and that alone caused my varises to go away. 30 pounds lighter, no booze, healthy food intake has resulted in an amazing energy boost and ejection from the transplant clinic. This all gives me the right to pick and choose my next path to a cure. Fred comments seem correct. Stay active and healthy for a while longer, If the HC does not go away you gave your liver a break. Then again, are the long term effects of these flavors of the month that provide the immediate cure suitable in the long term to other critical organs?

  • emily

    I have tried the interferon, ribavirin and teleprivar combo. stayed on for almost 4 weeks. So many side affects i could not take it. but good news after my recent biopsy I am now stage 1 instead of stage 4. I welcome something with less severe side affects.

    • Did the regimen improve your status? Despite your being having to abandon the treamtment

      • emily

        yes, I’m genotype 1 my viral lode was in the thousands but after the 4 weeks it went down to 600 and now I’m back to stage one. I really did not know you could improve stages especially after being at stage 4. My dr. advise me to continue exercise, vitamin D and the nash diet. I’m sorry that I could not continue treatment. It seems to be very effective for us non responders. The combo side affects really slammed me mentally and physically. I was never depressed but some sort of brain fog and all of the other symptoms tripled. I hope that something new will come soon. I feel like I’ve been given more time.

        • Dee

          Congratulations! There are some people who have only been able to handle the Incivek tx for 10 to 12 weeks. 6 months later they are SVR. The treatment is very difficult
          Again, good for you!

  • mitzie

    How could they have used that in treatment since the 1980’s when Hep C was not even identified until approx. 1990 and then they started testing for it in 1992.I got my blood transfusion in 1980.The info doesn’t match up here in this article about the 1980’s treatment.They only knew of non specific Hep A or Non specific Hep B.Not Hep C.I’m confused.

    • BarbaraT

      I was identified with Hep C in 1972. But they called it serum hepatitis

  • CJ

    What happened to Achillion’s non-interferon ACH 1925? Their website shows it’s completed phase II trials.

    • marsl

      what ever happened to GS7977 i thought that this was the new drug being used to treat hep-c without the use of interferon and ribavirin?

      • Dee

        GS7977 is still in trials along with another drug and looking good however Gilead is not going to allow it to be released until it owns both parts of the treatment. There is a petition going around to ask them to work with the other company that owns the other half of tx.

        • marsl

          Hi Dee: Is this petition open for the public to sign? If so please send me any information you have

  • History301

    Been waiting a long time for this like many people. The sooner the better.

  • BarbaraT

    Hallaleula! I’ve not had treatment & have been infected since 1972. I only just learned that there actually was any treatment. As I’ve been reading & researching, it has terrified me to get the interferon treatment. I feel bad enough as it is.

    • kitty

      barbara are you going to try any of the treatments out there presently? the interferon, ribavirin and teleprevir?

      • barbara trice

        I’m afraid to. I have my 1st hepatologist visit in Oct. If I can wait, I’ll wait for the new drugs

        • kitty

          i just want to get this out of me…. i’m also scared… but i want to be done with it too… the article on here about the new medicine said it could be 3-5 years… i wish you the best barbara… and stay in touch so we can support each other! 🙂

  • Sweetrandi

    I was in the Ribatron trials with daily injections of interferon..I had stage 1 liver damage and scarring and was lied to and told I would die if I did not go in this trial..I had small children..so I did it. I lost my hair and so much weight ..I could not walk..I lasted 6 months..I swore I would NEVER go on this type of medication again. I was lured in..for I was not a drinker or a drug user..I was betryed by the Doctor running the trial in NY..and made so aware of how much money these Drug Companies make..I am sceptically hoping that within 5 years there will be a cocktail that I can tolerate..I am now widowed..my children are older..and I will always look at Doctors in a different way…..I will wait till something is available in the US..but will NEVER use the Hep C protocol of today.

    • Tess

      My story and Yours is so similar. The treating doctor told me I had a 50-50 chance of survival if I didn’t treat. I was so betrayed because at week 7 I wound up in the hospital with 35% anemia and bleeding rectally. My doc wouldn’t even confer with the hospital and I quote He said ” I could NOT get paid there!” How did he know I could not pay him out of pocket???? He was negligent in my treatment and afraid of a lawsuit.. Doctors bury their mistakes…I should have sued but I was too sick and 2 years later I am still nauseated and take aciphex and carafate to survive. I have been in search of a doctor ever since. Never use a transplant doctor for treatment…They win either way. Transplants pay way more. I wish I had known what I know now. He is worshiped in my state because he is the go to doctor for transplants and hey I am just an old sick lady.

  • Chrissy

    I’ve known about my Hep C for six years could not do the interferon geno type 1 and I’d been studying homeopathic medicine and looking for alternative for my brother who found he had hep c eight years ago .I came across a product called Sho-saiko-to pharmaceutical grade formulation used in China and Japan since 1967. I was told by a doctor that I would die in 2009 if I didn’t do the interferon and I’m still here. I’ve been on this formula for the last 6 years (you can not use interferon with this formula; very important!!!) It has given me a quality of life a brought down my viral load and having good liver enzyme numbers. It is a combination of all herbs and has saved my life God willing. My doctor follows my progress with blood tests every six months and she’s very happy with results. Made by Honso-Kampo. Hope this can give hope to someone. God Bless You all with this horrific struggle.

    • Sunnie

      Do you know if this herbal treatment works with all types? I haven’t heard of anything for type 3. God Bless you for sharing info with everyone Sunnie

  • NKW

    Does anyone heard anything more about the Profetal Russian drug that was talked about back in Oct 2011? It sounds too good to be true … does anyone know? Thanks.

  • Cliff B.

    What about development of treatments for the “other” common genotypes?..aside from type 1…SUCH AS TYPE 2.
    Cliff Briggs

  • crystalcrane

    I am finishing up the clinical trial for BMSI (PSI) 7977 with GSI 790052 with Ribivirin, all oral. no side effects at all. was undetected day 9. I am now week 11 on this trial which is a 12 week trial. go to http://www.clinicaltrials.gov find a trial near you, even if they are not recruiting, put your name on the list or email them, when they need you they will call. good luck.

  • Bedbound

    Contracted & diagnosed over 12 years ago. Geno 1. Due to
    other past medical conditions, such as cancer, & being on life support, my
    body has had enough. They cannot even
    take bloods unless they go into main artery. Have been refused all treatment
    until new treatments are available in 2014/15. Have been bed bound for over 6
    mths, with fatigue & other symptoms.
    Drs say current treatment will be the death of me. 3 years seems so far away, an eternity, as my
    family watch me slowly wither away to nothing, with no quality of life
    whatsoever. I just don’t know where to
    turn, or what to do.

    • SuziQ

      Have you looked at Dr Burt Berkson on Google? He has worked wonders for many with liver diseases.

  • S l

    Wait for the new treatments, if they say 70%, that is undetectable,
    They don’t tell what% comes back. I’m a 2 timer, with geno 3 the easy one. Do not find many that stay clear ,maby the new type will not
    Be cave Medicean . Good luck .

  • marsl

    what ever happened to GS7977 i thought that this was the new drug being used to treat hep-c without the use of interferon and ribavirin?

  • kitty

    Robert Holmes, thank you for your response… darn i was hoping it was going to be a good thing… i am taking vitamin D for depression… Did you do any treatment? if so would mind sharing what?

  • Dead eye willie Sprkster

    I can’t wait sign me up NOW!

  • cookie

    Please keep liver transplant recipients who still have HCV and need non interferon treatment informed. The 2 approved already have major negative interactions with Prograf, the rejction prevention drug we have to take.

  • Josie

    When will there be more drug trials for Genotype 3 (3e is what I have)?
    I relapsed after end of treatment and don’t want to do it again until I see results of trials for MY Genotype.

  • joe joe the dog faced boy

    I am on the pegintron and the riva, almost to the third week. Next week I get my first blood test. Victrelis is on the horizon. I feel wicked and the south florida sun is brutal.

  • Noseknows

    That will be so cool. I did the SOC and an experimental drug(TMC435) and have been virus free for almost a year. I am still suffering a little from the effects of that nasty stuff(interferon), but would do it again to get cured. I will be so happy for all the people who won’t have to put that evil shi! in their body. It is because of people like me who have done the research studies so others don’t have to do it. No need to thank me, you can just send cash. Good luck to everyone who are in treatment, thinking of treatment, or willing to wait for the interferon free stuff. I pray for all of you.

  • tdog420

    hope I have that long

  • Lana

    This is great news. I have been newly diagnosed with Hep C & Cirrhosis. I am blessed I a not sick.The triple drug therapy Is better. This sounds much better. I think I will wait.

  • Axel

    Help GOOD

  • warren

    tried interferon 10 years ago. Could not go more than 7 weeks of a 48 week program. Doing fine so far with eating the right foods. will go for treatment as soon as they have a interferon free treatment