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Effectiveness of Pegasys towards Genotype 1a Hepatitis C
Dec 6, 2003

Dear Expert, My daughter was diagnosed with Genotype 1a hepatitis C. She get it from blood transfusion when she was born prematurely. Now she is 25 and thinking about joining a trail (if qualify) for getting pegylated interferon alfa-2a with ribavirin. She is a little overweight now. What do you think the chance of her being cure from this ? Is the side effects worthy taking, this risk of damaging the thyroid ?

Response from Dr. Pierone

Hello, the standard treatment for hepatitis C is pegylated interferon and ribavirin. The therapy is difficult and not everyone that is infected needs to be treated. The decision to treat or not depends to a large degree on the result of a liver biopsy to determine the stage and grade of disease. Grade is related to inflammation and stage is related to fibrosis. Those with more fibrosis on biopsy are more likely to have treatment offered in order to prevent progression to cirrhosis. Since fibrosis tends to progress slowly, treatment is often deferred in those with earlier stage disease. Persons with HIV infection and hepatitis C seem to progress more rapidly and do not respond as well to therapy. However, it is possible to cure hepatitis C with current therapy. Damage to the thyroid is not very common with treatment and if it does occur almost always resolves after treatment is completed. The decision to enter a clinical trial depends on her specific results and the details of the study. Clinical trials typically study a new drug or perhaps a new use of already approved medications. Hope this helps and good luck to your daughter. GP



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