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Purified Interferon Successful for Difficult HCV

October 11, 2004

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The following report caught my eye for several reasons. First of all, I am surprised this study was even reported seeing as it is only about one patient. Apparently, the results are still significant.

Secondly, 76 months of treatment is a LONG time (over six years, to be exact). I can’t help wondering what this treatment cost and if it would be covered by medical insurance if and when approved.

Third, I was really intrigued with the fact that this form of interferon is apparently closer to that found in nature.

And, finally, the fact that there were no substantial negative effects/side-effects from the therapy. Step by step, inch by inch, we make progress…

Highly Purified Natural Interferon Alfa (Multiferon) Could Be an Alternative Therapy in Difficult-to-treat HCV Patients

A currently 65-year-old patient with histologically proven chronic hepatitis C and chronic hepatitis B (seroconversion in 1990) and additional compensated cirrhosis of the liver (Child A) achieved sustained complete biochemical and viral response following 5 and 14 months respectively of therapy with highly purified natural leukocyte interferon-alfa (3 x 3 MU weekly, nIFN-alfa, Multiferon).

Prior to this treatment, various other therapy approaches including recombinant interferon-alfa-2b (rIFN-alfa-2b) or a combination of natural interferon-beta (nIFN-beta) and interferon-gamma (rIFN-gamma) had been carried out. Unfortunately, these had been unsuccessful.

After a total treatment period of 76 months with nIFN-alfa and a subsequent follow-up period of 30 months, no relapse of chronic hepatitis C occurred.

In conclusion, the authors write, “The patient’s tolerance of the treatment was excellent and no substantial drug-related adverse events were observed. nIFN-alfa, which – unlike the recombinant IFN-alfa-2b preparations – is a mixture of various physiologically expressed IFN-alpha subtypes, could possibly be an alternative in the treatment of difficult-to-treat patients with chronic hepatitis C, according to German researchers.”

Department of General Internal Medicine, Marienhospital Bottrop gGmbH, Germany.

Reference E Musch and others. Successful application of highly purified natural interferon alpha (multiferon) in a chronic hepatitis C patient resistant to preceding treatment approaches. Hepatogastroenterology 51(59): 1476-1479.

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