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should we wait for new approval?
Jun 23, 2001

my son has been taking interferon for over a yr. and some months levels are good but once taken off of it he has maybe 2 good months than levels go up and the virus comes back, the doctor wants to start him on the combination, my question is should he start on it or just wait for this pegylated interferon to be approved? pls advise. thanks, concerned mother.

Response from Dr. Rodriguez-Torres

If your son has not responded to interferon,he definitely would do much better with a peg combo. The treatment of Rebetron in non-responders only achieves sustained response (cure) in less than 10% of cases. The only exception to this, would be patients that are genotype non 1, where response is higher. There is not much data in non-responders with pegs, but the inital data reported with Pegasys was much better. On the other hand, I am concerned with your question, because treatment for HCV cannot be stopped and restarted as you describe. If the HCV in the patient is susceptible to the meds, and the drug is not used correctly, you will not have a good response. Recent studies emphasize the importance of adherence to meds. In patients that are early responders with Pegasys and RBV, and that adhere to their meds, the sustained responses in naive (new)cases can go up to 65%.



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