Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Interferon with ribavirin is safe and effective for children with chronic Hepatitis C

02.11.2005


Side effects are common, but mostly mild



Nearly half of 118 children with chronic Hepatitis C virus (HCV) treated with a combination of interferon-alpha-2b and an optimized dose of ribavirin achieved sustained viral response, and side effects were generally mild. These results are reported in the November 2005 issue of Hepatology, the official journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD).

Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hepatology is available online via Wiley InterScience at http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/hepatology.


HCV is usually asymptomatic in children though it can lead to serious liver damage. Treatment with interferon is standard and induces lasting remission in more than a third of infected children. The addition of ribavirin to treatment with interferon has been shown to markedly improve outcomes for adults with HCV, but the combination has not been extensively studied in children. Led by Regino González-Peralta, M.D. of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition at the University of Florida, researchers addressed combination therapy for children with a twofold program.

The first part searched for the optimal dose of ribavirin for children with HCV while testing the drug’s safety and efficacy. Fifty-six children, ages five to 16, were randomly assigned to take interferon along with ribavirin in varying doses for 48 weeks. They were evaluated for efficacy and side effects at regular intervals, and followed-up for an additional 24 weeks. By the end of the follow-up period, 35 percent of children taking 8 mg/kg/day of ribavirin, 37 percent taking 12 mg/kg/day, and 47 percent of 15/mg/kg/day had undetectable levels of HCV in their blood. Side effects were similar among all doses. Based on this data, the researchers selected the dosage 15 mg/kg/day for further study.

In all, 118 children with HCV received the optimized treatment--interferon with 15 mg/kg/day of ribavirin. They were evaluated regularly throughout treatment and follow-up to determine viral response and assess and manage side effects. At the end of the study, 46 percent had achieved sustained viral response. Children with HCV genotype 2/3 had higher sustained virologic response rates than those with HCV genotype 1.

All subjects experienced some side effects, but most were mild, the most common being flu-like symptoms. Severe side effects included anemia, neutropenia, depression and suicidal thoughts, and one child in the study attempted suicide. The researchers responded to adverse side effects by dose modification, and 8 subjects completely discontinued treatment because of adverse events.

As in previous studies, children in this one exhibited growth inhibition while receiving the therapy, however, they typically experienced height and weight catch-up gains after it ended. Interestingly, none of the African-American children in the study had a sustained virologic response to combination therapy. "The number of African-American children studied was too small to draw firm conclusions," say the authors. But this observation matches previous reports that African-American adults have lower response rates to combination therapy.

Overall, "our studies demonstrate that interferon alfa 2b in combination with oral ribavirin is effective and reasonably safe for the treatment of childhood chronic hepatitis C," the authors conclude. Importantly, "sustained virologic response rates in children with chronic HCV given interferon alfa-2b with ribavirin in these studies are higher than in those using interferon alone."

David Greenberg | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/hepatology

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>