New Hepatitis C Treatment Looks Promising
A form of interferon -- the gold standard for treating hepatitis C infection -- may offer hope for the nearly three million U.S. patients suffering from the chronic, potentially liver-destroying disease.
They caution, however, that peginterferon may not benefit all
patients. Even this improved formulation may be insufficient against the
highly-interferon resistant genotype 1 hepatitis C strain carried by about 75%
of infected patients in the U.S. In both studies, the response rate was much
lower for those with this resistant strain than it was for those with other
strains of the virus.
Also, Schafer tells WebMD, more research is needed to determine
whether black patients, who were underrepresented in these studies despite
comprising a large proportion of those with hepatitis C, will have a similar
rate of response as other racial and ethnic groups.
Peginterferon is not yet on the market, but FDA approval is