Only treatment is basically the same one which has been used for 16 years now, IFN w/Riba. The only difference is that 6 years ago the pegylated the IFN to reduce the number of shots from being daily to once a week.
The only new meds in the pipelines are intended to augment the current tx by working with Riba to prevent the virus from replicating, or worse mutating, itself during tx.
Fortunately, all studies to date that I've seen tend to show that at least the virus is not mutating to become resistant to the meds. It's simply a resilient little bugger and harder to kill in some than in others, which makes tx less effective than most in the medical community feels is acceptable.
Unfortunately, most diagnosed with the disease are not as vocal as folks suffering from other afflictions, and as such HepC is known the silent killer epidemic which receives little attention or funding for discovering new tx to treat it. So I see the days of a silver bullet pill to swallow and quickly eradicate the bug as something far off in the future, if it is ever achieved at all.
Good explanation and I agree with you overall, except I had always thought that the whole point of riba was that it was quite specifically an RNA mutagen that kept quasi-species from having enough similarity to group up.
child24angel: I do not think there will be a cure in my lifetime, whatever length that shall be.
desrt: As I understand it, Ribavirin works on influenza's and virus' of the same class HCV fall within (flavivirus or something like that) and that it interferes with the RNA mechanism(s) the virus uses to replicate itself. Unlike the meds currently in trail which attempt to achive the same result, I have not seen anything which details how this is done for ribavirin.
there is already a cure. the problem is it is only 50% rate and takes 48 weeks of hell. the vx950 is being tested, the way i read it to replace the riba and to shorten the time to 12 weeks not 48. the success rate should also go way up as undetectable is almost always reached in 1 or two weeks. it is hoped vx 950 will some day be a stand alone drug. i am not a scientist but this increase in effacy is very, very heartining. i am hoping if my tx fails it will be ready in 2008 as vertex suggests. as i mentioned in earlier posts if j&j is willing to invest over $170 mil in european rights and more in the future SOMEONE IN THE KNOW has hope.
i feel svr IS a cure. if there are no viruses in my system they can not attack my liver....that is a cure to me....semantics???
my dr says 2-3 yrs, vertex says maybe 2 yrs,,,,,some say 4-5 years??? i do not know but i feel real strong it will happen and will be a hugh improvement. the fda is cooperating to fast track.
if vx950 drops us to und alone with no sides then where did the buggers go??dead??? i would take it for 10 yrs before taking peg/riba for 1???
the main indicator to re treat or not is the biopsy report. if stage 3 or 4 it is more urgent. my dr will have me wait for vx if i do not svr in dec and i agree. i do not want one more year gone...to old for that...am stage 3 after 37yrs.
re; the fact that the current tx is the same as 16 years ago i semi agree, but,,but 16 years ago the svr rate was 10-15%...it is now 45-50% for geno 1's. and much better for 2-3's and the peg makes the sides much easier to take. several drs. have told me in 5 years 45-50% svr will look bad. the glass is half full.
pray for researchers who work overtime to keep us alive. and thank GOD for companies like plough schering who supplied me peg for free that i may live hep c free.
do not let fear ruin the remaining years of ANY ONE with hep c.
the disease is a tragedy alone without us adding fear to the list of sides.
I can understand where Nick and his Fiance' are concerned. When I raised the question about long term effects of tx and recue meds during my visit Friday, about the only thing that was raised as a posible issue was riba and childbirth. I was told the general recomendation is to wait 1-2 years post tx before considering conception.
Given his age, I can also understand his fears as well. I too have all kinds of thoughts racing around concerning how I've responded to tx, what options might be available, and many others which revolve around this insidious disease.
Not to spawn another debate around religion, but for me it is the one thing that brings comfort and serenity to me at this time. It helps me continue to hold out hope.
I certainly commend those going through the trials, especially those with control groups and the uncertainties that I can only imagine it would bring for me if I were in their shoes. But I also have done enough development work for the government to know how slow those wheels often turn as well, even on their so-called fast-tracks, and also understand the conflict of providing new options whilst maintianing a level of safety.
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