Dr. Carson B. Burgstiner's experience was mentioned at this site before. I tend to believe what he went through was true. Note that he was infected with Hep B as an adult, he looked Caucasian. I wonder why there have not been systematic larger-scale studies of this thymic cure?
Here is one study on Thymosin treatment of chronic hepatitis B:
Mutchnick MG, et al, "Thymosin treatment of chronic hepatitis B: a placebo-controlled pilot trial." Hepatology. 1991 Sep;14(3):409-15.
Chronic hepatitis B is a severe and frequently progressive disease. We assessed the safety and efficacy of thymosin fraction 5 and thymosin-alpha 1 in a prospective, placebo-controlled trial in 12 patients with chronic hepatitis B. All patients had histological and biochemical evidence of active liver disease for at least 6 mo before treatment and were positive for serum hepatitis B virus DNA and HBsAg. Seven patients received thymosin fraction 5 or thymosin-alpha 1 and five patients received placebo twice weekly for 6 mo. By the conclusion of the study (1 yr), serum aminotransferase levels had improved significantly in thymosin-treated patients, but not in the placebo group. Six (86%) of the thymosin treated patients and one (20%) patient given placebo cleared hepatitis B virus DNA from serum (p less than 0.04, Fisher's exact test). After treatment, replicative forms of hepatitis B virus DNA were present in the liver specimens of four of five placebo-treated patients but in only one of seven thymosin-treated patients (p less than 0.04, Fisher's exact test). Response to thymosin therapy was associated with significant improvements in peripheral blood lymphocyte and CD3 and CD4 counts and in in vitro production of interferon-gamma over initial values. No significant side effects were observed in patients given thymosin or in placebo-treated patients. Clinical, biochemical and serological improvement in patients responding to thymosin were sustained during 26 +/- 3 mo of follow-up. The results of this pilot trial suggest that thymosin therapy promotes disease remission and cessation of hepatitis B virus replication in patients with chronic viral infection.
Jablkowski M.; et al, "Thymic hormones reduce replication of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in a course of treatment of chronic active hepatitis B (CAHB)." Journal of Hepatology, Volume 28, Supplement, 1998 , pp. 209-209(1)
Ching-Yuang Lin and Szecheng Lo, "Treatment of hepatitis B virus-associated membranous nephropathy with adenine arabinoside and thymic extract." Kidney International (1991) 39, 301–306; doi:10.1038/ki.1991.37.
Treatment of hepatitis B virus-associated membranous nephropathy with adenine arabinoside and thymic extract. Previously we found that corticosteroid treatment in the hepatitis B virus (HBV)-associated membranous nephropathy (HBVMN) was not associated with a favorable outcome. To distinguish the differences of the HBV DNA in macrophage, T and B cells among HBVMN patients with or without corticosteroid treatment, serial studies at different time points were investigated. HBV DNA appeared as an "episomal" molecule as with 3.2 kb in macrophage, T and B cells. This molecule disappeared after 12 months among HBVMN patients without corticosteroid treatment. HBV DNA, by contrast, appeared as episomal form even three years later in T cells, with frequent proteinuria among HBVMN patients with corticosteroid treatment. This finding indicates that the use of corticosteroids leads to a potential risk of enhancing HBV viral replication in T cells. We studied 24 HBVMN patients who had previously received corticosteroid treatment and had persistent proteinuria, who were administered combination therapy with adenine arabinoside for two weeks and thymic extract (Thymostimulin) for six months to decrease urine protein loss and obtain seroconversion. These 24 patients had heavy (22 of 24, 91.6%) or mild (2 of 24, 8.4%) proteinuria prior to adenine arabinoside and thymostimulin treatment. All 24 patients demonstrated HBV DNA in mononuclear cells and simultaneously exhibited sera positive with HBsAg and HBeAg. In contrast, after treatment only one case (4.2%) had heavy and two cases (8.4%) mild proteinuria; HBV DNA was demonstrated in macrophage (4 of 24, 16.7%), T cells (9 of 24, 37.5%), and B cells (6 of 24, 25%) as well as serum (24 of 24, 100%) prior to treatment. The decreases to 16.7%, 37.5%, 25% and 41.6% in the macrophage, T cell, B cell, and serum respectively, were statistically significant (P<0.01) in each instance. In addition, six cases with complete remission of proteinuria changed their hepatitis B markers. Four cases (16.7%) changed from HBe (+)/anti-HBe (-) to HBe (-)/anti-HBe (-). These results suggest that combination therapy of adenine arabinoside and Thymostimulin in HBVMN patients is more effective in the improvement of proteinuria than corticosteroid treatment.
Dworniak D et al, "Treatment with thymic extract TFX for chronic active hepatitis B." Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz). 1991;39(5-6):537-47. Unique Identifier : AIDSLINE MED/93038038
Abstract: Eighteen patients with biopsy-proven chronic active hepatitis B (CAHB) and a significantly lowered CD4+/CD8+ cell number ratio were treated with thymic factor X (TFX): group I (n = 12) - for 12 months, group II (n = 6) for 6 months. As early as 14 days after starting the treatment a lowering of CD8+ cell numbers with a rise in CD4+/CD8+ cell number ratio were found. These changes continued to progress during the next months and were accompanied by decreased in NK cell numbers with enhancement of NK cell activity. Normalization of the biochemical and immunological parameters occurred after 5-6 months of the treatment. In both groups of patients seroconversion in the HBe system was observed after 9-12 months of the treatment. After two years complete clinical remission persists with normal biochemical and immunological findings and without reversion in the HBe system. The results seem to indicate that TFX has an immunostimulatory action and exerts beneficial effects on the course of CAHB.
Finally, this review by Dr. Wilson shows clearly that thymus extracts have effects in treatments of many conditions including Hep B.
James L. Wilson Ph.D., “Thymus Extracts:An International Literature Review of Clinical Studies*” 1999 Foundation for Immunology and Nutrition, Development, Education and Research.
Acute and chronic hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and is associated with a wide spectrum of liver diseases, including a subclinical carrier state, acute hepatitis, chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis and hapatocellular carcinoma. Chronic Hepatitis B occurs in 5-10% of patients who initially contacted acute hepatitis B infections (Berkow 92, P902).
Acute hepatitis B: Significant decreases were seen in total bilirubin and iron levels in conjunction with more rapid clinical improvement and shorter hospitalization time in a group of 15 patients with laboratory comfirmed acute hepatitis. Patients were given 15 injections of the thymus extract, TFX, beginning the day of diagnosis and followed over the course of the disease until recovery (Kicka 86).
Chronic hepatitis B: Chronic hepatitis B is a difficult disease to treat and has a varying prognosis. Only about 1/3 of the cases develop from acute hepatitis. Most develop insidiously de novo (Berkow 92, P905). The disease has varying courses. "Mild persistent hepatitis, full blown chronic active hepatitis with eventual cirrhosis, and a subclinical chronic carrier state all occur. The latter is especially prone to lead ultimately to hepatocellular carcinoma.” (Berkow 92, P903). Illnesses associated with HBV tend to progress and are usually relatively resistant to therapy (Berkow 92, P906). With present medical therapy, patients usually live several years, but hepatocellular failure, cirrhosis, or both eventually develop in many cases (Berkow 92, P906). The liver injury in HBV is due to an immune mediated host reaction to the infection and not the infection per se (Berkow 92, P905). The use of thymus extracts to normalize the aberrant immune responses seen in hepatitis B is a logical treatment choice. Consistent with this line of reasoning, 18 patients with biopsy proven chronic active hepatitis B and a lowered T4/T8 ratio received thymic extract TFX for 6 and 12 months in two different groups (Dworniak 91). Improvement in the T4/T8 ratio was seen beginning 14 days after treatment had begun, followed by a decrease in the abnormally high NK cell count. As the NK cell count decreased, NK cell migration and killing activity increased to normal in both the 6 and 12 month groups. Normalization of biochemical and immunological parameters occurred within 5-6 months of beginning treatment. Seroconversion of HBe system to anti-HBe was observed after 9-12 months in both of the treatment groups. HBe is a blood marker for presence of the virus core. lt indicates active viral replication. Seroconversion to anti-HBe (the antibody to HBe) indicates the viris has ceased replication. This seroconversion usually portends a benign outcome (Berkow 92, P906). A two year follow up showed continued clinical remission with normal immunological and biochemical panels in both groups. The authors conclude that the thymus extract had an immunostimulatory action of lasting duration. A similar study using TFX fbr 6 months on 29 patients produced similar findings with similar conclusions (Zeman 91). In another study, thymomodulin thymus extract was administered orally as a syrup at a dose of 120 mg/day fbr 1 year to a group of children with chronic hepatitis B who had a positive HBs Ag and HBe Ag blood profile. The results showed a higher rate of recovery and seroconversion to anti HBe than controls (Bortolotti 88, Raymond 98). Other liver diseases including chronic cholestatic hepatitis and primary biliary cirrhosis have been successfully treated by the thymus extract, t-activin. Results of a study using 102 patients with chronic cholestatic hepatitis primary biliary 6 cirrhosis showed an increase in T lymphocytes, increased functional activity of mononuclear cells (increased chemotaxis and inhibition), and decreased immunoglobulin counts. All of these indicators signify an increased immune competence which favors controlling the immunoinflammatory process in the liver and a normalization of the clinical manifestation of the disease leading to a favorable outcome (Radchenko 92). These new results are important not only for the successful treatment of a very difficult disease which frequently has an unfavorable outcome, but also for the implications for treatment of hepatitis produced by other causes. Many of the inflammatory conditions of the liver are caused by viruses, fungi, or mycobacteria (tuberculosis) (Berkow 92, P898). Cellular immunity is the chief defense against these agents. Successful treatment of the above conditions using thymus extracts suggests many exciting possibilities for treatment of presently untreatable ailments of the liver using immunomodulating substances such as thymus extracts.
Thymus extracts have been shown to be of significant therapeutic value using both clinical and laboratory indices. It is important to note that the improvements taking place in several of these experiments were not just palliative improvements. In some studies there were indications of an actual reconstitution of the cellular immune system as indicated by the increase in the numbers of T lymphocytes (Skotnicki 89, Kouttab 89, Hadden 89, Stankiewiez 86), macrophages (Andolina 87) and suppressor cells (Kouttab 89) and a restoration of function of these and other cells as shown by: increased conversion of immature thymocytes to non-dedicated T cells in human bone marrow (Kouttab 89); enhanced proliferation response to concanavalan A (Con A) (Dabrowski 80) and phytohemagglutinin (PRA) (Segatto 86, Poli 86, Vuckovic 92, Marjanska 75); increased E-rosette formation (Macchiarini 89); increased phagocytosis and bactericidal activity of circulating phagocytes (Kartasheva 91, Samsygin 89, Alba 91), increased numbers of macrophages and monocytes (Kouttab 89, Tas 90); decreased caminoembryonic antigen (CEA) levels in cancer patients (Reinke 85); and a restoration of skin test responsiveness (DTH response) in previously unresponsive patients (Kouttab 89, Lasisz 90, Periti 93, Marjanska 75). Laboratory tests have also confirmed the favorable effects of thymus extracts on humoral immunity as shown by: an increase in the B lymphocytes (Twomey 82) and serum immunoglobulins to normal (Kouttab 89); an increase in depressed salivary IgA levels (Fiocchi 86); and a down regulation of elevated IgE (Kouttab 89, Fiocchi 87, Bagnato 89, Cavagni 89) and eosinophil counts (Kouttab 89, Fiocchi 87). The positive effects of thymus extracts have even been demonstrated in laboratory tests for autoimmune reactions by reducing rheumatoid factor alpha 2 and serum G globulin levels (Skotnicki 89, Skotnicki 86, Lasisz 90) with an accompanying rise in depressed hemoglobin and serum iron levels as the autoimmune factors decreased (Skotnicki 86). The ability to affect these multifactor autoimmune reactions provides further indications that the regulatory mechanisms modified by thymic extracts are systemic. Their effects do not come from just focal inhibition or stimulation of a single mechanism. This broad range of laboratory indices taken as a whole indicates that thy extracts are capable of affecting the immune response at a fundamental level. One of the most striking features of therapy using thymus extracts is the wide variety of conditions in which these extracts have been successfully employed. They have been used orally and as injectables; by themselves and in combination with other-therapeutics. In some instances, they have been the only effective treatment. These extracts have been successfully used clinically to prevent and treat primary and secondary infections (Kartasheva 91, Periti 92), prevent relapses (Kouttab 89) and secondary complications of infections (Kartasheva 91), and to reduce postoperative infection rates (Lai 92). They have also been used to: modulate the deleterious effects of radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery (Vuckovic 92, Alba 91, Negri 92); accelerate the rate of wound healing (Skotnicki 89); decrease some of the effects of aging (Czapliki 90, Chung- Kuo 93); improve the efficacy of other treatments (Grigor'ev 89); and as an adjuvant in surgery (Periti 93, Samsygin 89, Periti 92, Lai 92) and treatments using antifungal, antibiotic and antiviral agents (Skotnicki 89, Radomska 87, Czaplicki 89, laniushina 92, Gilman 87, Drews 84). Few medicines can boast effectiveness in treating conditions so diverse as: infections [deep disseminated (Dworniak 91), or focalized (Grismondi 91) of bacterial (Guliamov 91) and viral (Kicka 86, Dworniak 91, Zeman 91, Skotnicki 84) origins;respiratory diseases [infectious (Kouttab 89, Fiocchi 96), non-infectious (Stankiewiez 86, Matusiewicz 87, Gieldanowski 81, Smogorzewska 84), acute (Stankiewiez 86) and chronic (Gieldanowsiki 81, Smogorzewska 84, Frolov 92, Tortorella 92.)]; diseases of immunodeficiency (Davies 82, Valesini 87), autoimmunity (Skotnicki 84, Kartasheva 91, Suchkova 90); allergies (Chachoua 89); degenerative skin diseases (Skotnicki 89, Kouttab 89, Pecora 91, Cavagni 89, Kaliuzhnaia 89); as well as neoplasias of the lung (Capelli 92), larynx (Mantovani 92), leukocytes (Skotnicki 89, Martelli 82, Makhonova 91, Drozdova 90, Marjanska 75), breast (Alba 91, Negri 92, Reinke 85, Griffith 88) and of colorectal and gastric origin (Ciconi 92, Urban 77, Cybulski 87). They have also been shown to be of benefit in increasing the survival time of patients with severe or terminal illnesses (Kartasheva 91, Cybulski 87, Samsygin 89, Periti 92). In some cases these results persisted long after the treatment was discontinued. This indicates that it was effective in changing the natural course of the disease by working at the causative level, i.e., the faulty immune process rather than at the combative (antibiotics) or symptomatic (bronchodilators, etc.) levels. In others cases, the change was seen only while the extracts were being administered indicating that even though these extracts were not effective at the causal level, they were still able to play a significant role in the therapeutic regimen and, at the least, provide an improvement in the clinical state and general well-being of the patient (Skotnicki 89). The combined results of the many studies on the various thymus extracts, taken as a group, is very encouraging and appears to offer a possible new alternative and/or adjunct to present therapies. Individually, many of the studies showed design weaknesses. Small N-size plagued most of these studies with as few as 4 subjects in some. In several studies there was no randomization of groups and in a few, no control groups. Only a few of the studies used double-blind trials. Although there is a need for better designed studies, the 18 combined results and the variety of health conditions reported to respond to the thymus extracts tested Provide enough material to consider thymus extracts as a potentially promising and useful new area of treatment and research. In summary, thymus extracts have been shown to be extremely versatile from other areas of influence are probable. Some of the most severe clinical conditions showed the most profound recovery. Thymus extracts were beneficial in nearly all studies with a degree of efficiency varying from symptomatic relief to curative. The overall clinical impact was extremely positive with no reports of undesirable side effects and only 2 toxicities. The favorable clinical response combined with the lack of side effects or toxicity makes the use of thymus extracts a potential height and research option that has yet to be recognized on this continent.
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