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 Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

nachricht New antibody analysis accelerates rational vaccine design
09.08.2018 | Scripps Research Institute

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: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Diving robots find Antarctic winter seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide

15.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Early opaque universe linked to galaxy scarcity

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>