Pegylated Inferferon With Ribavirin Can Help Slow Progression of Hepatitis C-Related Liver Damage, Study Says
A combination treatment consisting of pegylated interferon and ribavirin can help slow the rate of liver damage and reverse existing liver damage in people infected with hepatitis C, according to research published in the May issue of Gastroenterology, HealthScoutNews reports. Dr. Thierry Poynard of the Hospitalier Pitie-Salpetriere and colleagues recruited 3,000 treatment-naive people infected with hepatitis C. Participants were given one of 10 different treatments that included a combination of interferon, pegylated interferon and ribavirin. Although all of the treatments slowed liver damage, therapy consisting of pegylated interferon and ribavirin was found to be "very effective" in slowing the damage. Poynard said that up to 73% of patients receiving treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin showed "significant improvement." Overall, 49% of participants experienced some reversal of liver damage. "This is a higher rate of remission than we've seen before. The damage that's done appears to be reversible if you can get on treatment. It gives an extra added incentive to patients sitting on the fence about treatment," Dr. Steven Field, a clinical assistant professor of medicine and the New York University School of Medicine, said (Gordon, HealthScoutNews, 4/30).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.