SLU hepatologist to present findings at national conference in Boston
Interim study results indicate a certain drug combination treatment may suppress the hepatitis C virus more quickly than another. Researchers at Saint Louis University School of Medicine and six other research sites throughout the country found that combining the drug Pegasys® with ribavirin resulted in a greater reduction in hepatitis C viral levels than patients treated with Peg-Intron® and an equal dose of ribavirin.
Pegasys and Peg-Intron are types of pegylated alpha interferon--which is a longer lasting version of interferon, a naturally produced substance in the body that triggers the immune system. Combining these drugs with ribavirin enhances their efficacy and is the standard treatment for hepatitis C. "It looks as though Pegasys is more potent during the early phase of treatment, which is critical for patients with chronic hepatitis C," said Adrian M. Di Bisceglie, M.D., professor of internal medicine in Saint Louis University School of Medicines division of gastroenterology and hepatology, and the studys lead investigator. "Its critical because if patients are going to respond to treatment, it will happen during the first 12 weeks of care. Eight weeks into this trial we noticed lower viral levels in patients on the combination of Pegasys and ribavirin."
Matt Shaw | EurekAlert!
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