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wait for Pegasys
Dec 28, 2001

I am a 48 year old man with hepatitis c genotype 1b. A recent biopsy indicated scarring of 1 and inflammation of 2. I seem to be free of symptoms and live a very athletically active life. I can't seem to dig up my latest enzymes, but they have been very low.

My GI specialist is now recommending that I take PEG interferon alfa 2b (Peg- Intron) in combination with Riboviran, and I am seriously considering this. The question: IN your opinion, Is there any reason to wait until PEG interferon alpha 2a (Pegasys) is approved?

Response from Dr. Rodriguez-Torres

The real question would be if you need treatment at this time ,or not.It seems that you have a very mild disease,and it will be important to know about the duration of your disease,and the viral load.You need to remember that only around 20% of all cases will go on to develop cirrhosis,and the progression is slow in the majority of cases. The Peg-Intron data for gen 1,with low viral loads ,is no better than Rebetron,and the side effects are worse,so it does not make sense to use this combo in your case. The data of Pegasys,in gen 1 is better than Rebetron,with less side effects.It is not difficult to conclude that you will have a better chance with Pegasys/RBV.You have no rush and can wait.



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