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J Hepatol. 2002 Dec;37(6):843-7.

Mycophenolate mofetil in combination with recombinant interferon alfa-2a in interferon-nonresponder patients with chronic hepatitis C.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Endocrinology, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Carl Neuberg Strasse 1, D-30625 Hannover, Germany.



Since ribavirin was able to improve the antiviral efficacy of interferon alfa in patients with chronic hepatitis C, several other adjuncts have been studied. It has been shown that mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) is a more potent inhibitor of the inosine 5'-monophosphate-dehydrogenase (IMPDH) than ribavirin. The present study is a pilot study evaluating the efficacy and safety of combination therapy with interferon alfa-2a and MMF in interferon alfa nonresponder patients.


Thirty-eight adult patients with chronic hepatitis C who did not respond to a previous interferon alfa monotherapy were enrolled to receive 6 million units of interferon alfa-2a tiw in combination with MMF (1 week 500 mg/day, 1 week 1000 mg/day, 22 weeks 2000 mg/day).


An interim analysis of 29 patients after 12 weeks of therapy showed that only one patient had negative hepatitis C virus-RNA at this time point. There was no significant reduction of the viral load during therapy. Due to inefficacy the study was discontinued.


Combination therapy of interferon alfa-2a and MMF is ineffective in improving virological response rates in nonresponder patients with chronic hepatitis C. These data suggest that inhibition of the IMPDH seems not to be the major mechanism of ribavirin in enhancing the antiviral effect of interferon alfa in chronic hepatitis C.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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