Nov. 12, 2001 — Even if liver harm has set in, it’s not as well late to treat hepatitis C. Potent unused shapes of intergalactic can moderate, halt, or indeed reverse the harm done by the hepatitis C infection.

The findings come from a modern see at more than 3,000 patients with liver harm caused by hepatitis C infection. Each received one of 10 distinctive treatment procedures in four multi-center clinical trials. In a report to the yearly meeting of the American Association for the Ponder of Liver Maladies, a team of researchers from France and the U.S. reports that the most viable treatment improves fibrosis — scar tissue — in nearly three out of four patients. And nearly half of those with cirrhosis, a more extreme stage of infection, showed improvement.

“Already we thought fibrosis and cirrhosis was irreversible — that was the standard authoritative opinion,” consider co-author John McHutchison, MD, tells WebMD. “When you look at a huge enough gather of patients you see there’s the opportunity to prevent fibrosis and an opportunity for relapse of fibrosis.”

Patients were more likely to see their liver damage move forward in case they were treated with the new “pegylated” form of interferon combined with the antiviral medicate ribavirin. Pegylation may be a chemical change that makes intergalactic work much way better. It also makes it final much longer, so that patients only need one shot a week instead of day by day treatment. Still, treatment is no picnic: the side impacts make most individuals feel like they have a terrible case of the flu. Treatment keeps going for a year.

Is it worth it? Numerous patients see their hepatitis contamination vanish — and long-term thinks about suggest that it seldom comes back. Indeed in the event that the virus doesn’t go away, the new consider suggests that inversion of liver damage proceeds.

“If you look at patients five and 10 a long time after their to begin with response to treatment, many of them still have a regression of their fibrosis,” says McHutchison, a researcher at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, Calif. “Some patients with significant cirrhosis have regressed over years. There appears to be persistent improvement. The virus doesn’t come back. The reaction is durable.”

It seems to be the intergalactic — especially the pegylated form — that makes a difference the liver. But getting freed of HCV also makes a difference, which appears to be why patients who got the pegylated interferon/ribavirin combination did the leading.

“Pegylated intergalactic has an anti-fibrotic impact,” Michael P. Manns, MD, tells WebMD. “Two to five percent of individuals with HCV infection develop liver cancer. Interferon-treated patients — indeed in case not cured — have a lower rate of [creating this sort of cancer].” Manns is director of the GI and liver divisions at the University of Hannover, Germany.

Other variables that predicted fruitful treatment were being younger than 40 and not being overweight.

Trials presently underway are investigating whether amplifying HCV treatment — for up to four years — can assist switch liver damage.