476246 tn?1418874514
Chemo
There is this thing I have not been able to figure out. Is Peginterferon chemotherapy? Is Ribavirin oral chemotherapy? I seem to be getting different results on this when I try to look it up. I have not been able to get any concrete statement anywhere on the net.

Marcia
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276730 tn?1327966546
My hepatologist at U of M said no its not.
My gastrolenterologist/hepatologist said it isnt either.

Yet there are patients whose docors have told them it is.
I was told by 3 doctors its anti viral therapy.
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276730 tn?1327966546
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217229 tn?1192766004
Yes --- Chemotherapy by definition is ingestion of some chemical to combat a disease, virus or tumor, etc.

Interferon is used in treatment for cancer patients and for other things. Riba is used for others as well. It's not limited to only HCV treatment.

But yeah --- literally if you are taking Peg Inf alp-2a you're taking a chemotherapy.


Meki
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217229 tn?1192766004
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276730 tn?1327966546
p.s.- Dr. advised me it mimics chemo but it isnt. And yet Ive read documentation that it is...so.
As long as it helps slow down the progression I really dont care if its bug juice!


Take care
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276730 tn?1327966546
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476246 tn?1418874514
Thanks to both of you... That explains the different results I got on the net...

Even though I'm vegetarian, I'd probably prefer bug juice :-)

Thanks a lot for the explanations! Think I'll be heading to bed now. It's almost midnight and I gotta catch an early flight to LDN.

Marcia

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476246 tn?1418874514
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206807 tn?1331939784
My Dr. told me it is a form of Chemo.
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206807 tn?1331939784
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If you google FDA and sub chemotherapy, you will find Peg and other variations of interferaon listed. I did not see riboviran
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233616 tn?1312790796
are we taking Interferon....the same interferon they gave 50 years ago to treat cancer patients...yes....are we sick...tired....worn out...loosing hair  ......yes.

same drugs same symptoms.....it's chemotherapy.

If it looks like a duck........

also, it's easier to tell people I'm on chemo and get them off my back....like nosey neighbors and telemarketers.....and it's not their business if I am on an antiviral too.
my friends and family all know that....but if you want to be stigmatized just tell someone, I'm treating for HCV or HIV.....and see the different reaction....instead of sympathy it more...eek...get thee behing me type stuff....

so yes, you are on chemo....
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233616 tn?1312790796
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officially, i think its classified as immunotherapy  and/or biotherapy.
interferon it is a natural human substance as opposed to a
new chemical cococted by man hence, chemothrapy.
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184420 tn?1326743408
ya but the interferon give in treatment is NOT the same as the natural interfuron made by your body... it is a manmade chemical that mimics what your natural interfuron does

so, interfuron given in treatment (pegasys) is a chemical -  hence chemotherapy..

fyi losing your hair is not a given, i didnt lose any
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184420 tn?1326743408
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To me this is chemo.  I've undergone chemo for cancer and it was just like this.  Not much difference except side effects of the cancer chemo were more predictable and consistent, I got to take a break between doses, and the course of treatment was much shorter.  
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Interferon is used to treat leukemia, malignant melanoma, non hodgkins lymphoma to name a few cancers.   Most literature classifies it as chemotherapy, some don't.  It is a cytokine.  My hepatologist classified it as chemo when I did it years ago.  

PattI RN
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476246 tn?1418874514
Just got back, exhausted. Thanks for all the information you posted while I was gone!  

merryBe ... thanks for the tip about saying one is on chemo instead of hep c tx. I can see that that will go down better with ppl. I will keep that in mind, once the time comes.

Marcia
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149675 tn?1416676733
I found this on the internet. It is from a chemotherapy site:

http://www.chemocare.com/bio/intron_a.asp

It is used to treat many things not just HCV. I had an infectous disease doctor tell me years ago that Interferon is a drug that has been looking for a disease to treat for years. She said it has been around for a lot longer than HCV has been known (or identified). She came to talk at a Hep C support group meeting I attended.
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Chemotherapy is short for Chemical Therapy. Technically every drug is Chemo.
While Chemotherapy has come to mean Cancer Tx and Interferon is used to treat some cancers, it can be seen as Chemo. Technically I think Cruelworld is right. IFN is Biotherapy or Immunotherapy.
CS
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It is old and may be outdated.

jasper

Dec 22, 2002
Dr. Dieterich,
Perhaps you can help me clear up the myths and misunderstandings regarding Interferon chemotherapy. We have had some home debates about this. I believe you would concur with me regarding this matter. Other Doctors have.
So often I hear people referring to interferons as mimicking chemotherapy or acting like chemotherapy. You yourself responded to Karens query with the statement The side effects are no walk in the park but they are not like chemotherapy.
Wouldnt you agree that Interferon does not mimic chemotherapy or act like chemotherapy? IT IS CHEMOTHERAPY! Its the real McCoy!

The American Medical Association (AMA) documents Interferon Alfa-2A and Alfa-2B as Chemotherapy.

The AMA CPT Administration codes, as well as the CMS/HCPCS codes, for Interferon Alfa-2A and 2B, fall under the category of Injectable chemotherapy.
Interferon Alfa-2A, Code: #J9213 Interferon Alfa-2B, Code: #J9214
The AMA, HGSA, HCPCS, CMS, and even the HGSA in Australia all classify Interferon Alfa-2A and 2B as chemotherapy. Why? Because they are indeed chemotherapies!
Anyone can pick out any search engine and just type in J9213. You dont need to be a rocket scientist to figure it out.

Dr. Dieterich is not a quack and I think he is the one who made the video of how hepc starts, but could be wrong.
http://www.****.org

http://www.****.com

http://www.****.com

Also, google j9213


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The following comes from CancerHelpdotOrg. I wont put the link in MedHelp seem to like trashing any links.

Interferon works in several ways.  It interferes with cancer cells and stops them growing and multiplying.  And it stimulates the immune system by encouraging killer T cells and other cells to attack cancer cells.  It also encourages cancer cells to send out chemicals that attract the immune system cells to them.

Interferon is used to treat several different types of cancer, particularly renal cell (kidney) cancer, malignant melanoma, multiple myeloma and some types of leukaemia.  It is also used to treat diseases other than cancer.

Although interferon is not chemotherapy, the way you manage side effects may be similar.  

And from ChemoCaredotcom
How Intron A works:
Interferon alfa belongs to the category of therapies called biologic response modifiers (BRM), also called immunotherapy.  

This is a type of treatment that mobilizes the body's immune system to fight cancer.   The therapy mainly consists of stimulating the immune system to help it do its job more effectively.

Interferon alfa is part of a family of proteins called cytokines.  Cytokines act primarily by communicating between the various cells of the body's immune system.

Interferon alfa interacts with receptors on the surface of cells.  There are several ways that interferon alfa fights cancer; directly by interfering with the cancer cells ability to divide, and indirectly by modifying the bodies response to the cancer cells.

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Chemotherapy
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chemotherapy, in its most general sense, refers to treatment of disease by chemicals that kill cells, specifically those of micro-organisms or cancer. In popular usage, it usually refers to antineoplastic drugs used to treat cancer or the combination of these drugs into a standardized treatment regimen.

In its non-oncological use, the term may also refer to antibiotics (antibacterial chemotherapy). In that sense, the first modern chemotherapeutic agent was Paul Ehrlich's arsphenamine, an arsenic compound discovered in 1909 and used to treat syphilis. This was later followed by sulfonamides discovered by Domagk and penicillin discovered by Alexander Fleming.

Other uses of cytostatic chemotherapy agents (including the ones mentioned below) are the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis and the suppression of transplant rejections (see immunosuppression and DMARDs).

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476246 tn?1418874514
Thank you so much for all the input.  :-)

Marcia
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179856 tn?1333550962
merryBe ... thanks for the tip about saying one is on chemo instead of hep c tx. I can see that that will go down better with ppl. I will keep that in mind, once the time comes.
-------------

That is the perfect advice.  If it feels like chemo to YOU then it is chemo.  As you can see there is always a pretty big debate about it but to ME it felt just like what I'd imagine chemo felt like and it just went on an awful lot longer (72 weeks for me).

Anyway - I did tell everyone at work I was on chemo. People are so TACTLESS and nosey and they always answered"OH for WHAT what KIND of cancer WHERE is the cancer" like it was their business even if they were just a very casual work relation who was asking why I looked so ill and my hair fell out.

I would just answer "i'm sorry I don't really like to talk about it I'd rather try and keep my mind off of it".  A few times people said "oh but what kind of cancer do you have?" and I'd just walk away.

Sometimes - the rudeness of the world is astounding so just ditch them if they get on your nerves.  It's hard enough going thru CHEMO without them bugging you!

Best of luck Marcia.
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862235 tn?1336063895
Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't chemo usually administered iv rather than subq? I believe that this may be the biggest differrence here although not much of one. I personally think if you are injecting foreign objects into your body that are meant to modify your body's normal functions it's chemo therapy.
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