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25. Is pegylated interferon effective in treating chronic hepatitis B?

Interferon may be having resurgence. This is the first published study by Dr. Cooksley who’s an investigator in Australia looking at pegylated interferon. Now pegylated interferon is the regular interferon molecule that is hooked to polyethylene glycol. Polyethylene glycol is a molecule that extends the blood life so that the interferon stays in the bloodstream for the whole week. So you only have to give injection once a week, rather than injection every other day, and it’s also more potent for that reason. Dr. Cooksley looked at the Roche pegylated interferon Alpha2A, and he looked at different doses because it wasn’t clear what would be the right dose. This is what we use in hepatitis C, we use 180 micrograms, and he compared that to regular standard interferon at the standard dose of TIW, that’s three times a week. He studied only the e-Positive hepatitis B.