Early experience with recombinant interferon alfa-2b in chronic hepatitis C (HCV) has shown that normalisation of serum alanine aminotransferase activities and reduction in hepatic inflammation can be achieved in about 40% of patients. This occurs with loss of viral replication as measured by polymerase chain reaction for HCV-RNA. Further studies are needed to identify patients most likely to respond to treatment and to investigate the issues of non-response and relapse when treatment is stopped. Alternative interferon treatment regimens, as well as other drugs and combinations of agents, need to be investigated.
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