No offense to your friend, but Infergen is not a cure for HepC. Neither is anything else at this point if you're talking about a 100% cure, like taking antibiotics for an ear infection. I've had the same types of conversations with well-meaning friends who saw something on the news or hand me print-outs from the internet about milk thistle or acupuncture curing HepC.
That said, HepC genotypes 2 and 3 seem to have almost a 100% chance of getting cured with current treatments like Infergen. Genotypes 1a and 1b seem to have about a 30% to 60% chance of getting cured. My latest prediction from my doctor is that I have about a 20% chance of being cured with current drugs. However, the new drug VX-950 is showing tremendous promise with close to a 100% cure rate for genotypes 1a and 1b, the hardest to cure. I am a 1b who failed standard treatment three times, once with just interferon, the second time with Pegylated Interferon and Ribavirin, and last year with Infergen and Ribavirin.
However, I do see lots of people on these boards getting cured with current treatments, including Infergen, meaning the virus is UND (undetectable) in their blood. Unfortunately, the virus can sometimes come back, so just because you become UND doesn't mean you're cured. The gold standard is blood testing several months to years after reaching UND status and the virus is still gone, meaning you have reached SVR (sustained virological response).
I do believe in milk thistle and have taken it myself, and have also had acupuncture. The confounding thing about this damn disease is that it often comes back after it has supposedly been cured. I have a very dear friend skilled in Chinese medicine who assures me that she can cure my HepC with acupressure and various holistic practices. I accept her support and thank her, but tell her that none of those things is going to work. Do I believe in miracles? Not really.
Infergen does work for some previous non-responders, so by all means you should consider your options along with input from a doctor skilled in the treatment of HepC. Now that I've decided to "come out of the closet" about my HepC, my friends are eager to learn the many complexities of this virus and why it is so difficult to cure and to support me in my struggles to get cured.
"However, the new drug VX-950 is showing tremendous promise with close to a 100% cure rate for genotypes 1a and 1b, the hardest to cure."
Thanks for your explanation, Chris. Very useful info.
i wouldnt say vx has nearly a 100% cure rate yet. as far as i know, folks are doing well on it (including me), but the last data were 89% undectable after 12 wks, i believe. it is too early to say anything about SVR (cure) as nobody is that far post treatment yet as far as i know. we will get lots more data this year. i hope for all our sakes it is a cure.
I'm in week 8 of 12 week peg and VX950. I'm 1b. 55 yrs old. 18 yrs IV drug use then 18 yrs clean. I've had people wax eloquent at the end of meetings about the virtues of colloidal silver, milkthistle, chinese herbs, diet, sweat-lodges, magic, healing - to name but a few and all 100% guaranteed. All well-meaning - and i've enthusiastically embraced them all at one time or another. But whatever the empowerment factor, the virus remained and progressed. I've done chinese herbs here in england ist with john tyndall who confidently asserted the virus could be eliminated in 2 years (i did a year with him in '97) and latterly with john renshaw at the blenheim project who i trust implicitly who talks more soberly about balance and treatment support rather than elimination. at the moment i've stopped the herbs 'cause i'm on this trial. Though I've grown sceptical over the years re the ability of these things to 'cure' hepc (i've yet to hear a single clear-cut case i can believe without abandoning my critical faculties - like ufos or carlos castenada, childish amusements past their sell-by date) I know the last couple of years of herbs dramatically helped me emotionally and physically. Having said all that i have total belief just for today that I'm going to be one of the the first to permanently clear Hep C 1b with 12 weeks treatment peg/vx950. best wishes to both of you and thanks for inspiring me to post. The great thing about this journey is it forces me to examine my own intolerance and reactivity and develop some compassion for self and others. I hope chris and alien vx950 or its successors provide a possible future solution for you guys if you decide to try again. best, nick m
Hey, Any vl info yet? What shape is your liver in? Please keep us posted. Treatment without riba!! ahh, somebody pinch me!! jm
There is no cure! They may be refering to the common claim that "SVR = cure". As I understand it, Infergen is not much more than a rename of the Interferon used in HCV tx prior to the pegylated formulas became available, which you apparently tried.
All drugs in the pipeline are additions to SOC Peg-Ifn/riba currently in use and mostly been studied on those who have never tried tx.
That being said, the new drugs only appear to be assisting riba in the prevention of viral replication during the initial stages of tx.
I did read somewhere that studies in HIV may be leading to a much better understanding of HCV that could possible lead to a cure and vaccination in the future.
I agree big pharma is making tons of cash ...BUT...this SOC and the new PI drugs are the only way out of this mess....NO HERB ON THIS PLANET WILL KILL HEP C...herbs may slow down the progression a notch...thats it
Hey Ron, this thread is over 2 years old....