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Blood. 1996 May 15;87(10):4072-5.

Efficacy of interferon in treating chronic hepatitis C in children with a history of acute leukemia.

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Department of Pediatrics, National Defense Medical College, Saitama, Japan.


Interferon (IFN) is effective in treating adults as well as children with chronic hepatitis C. We investigated the efficacy of IFN therapy in 13 children with underlying acute leukemia who had chronic hepatitis C (age range, 5 to 17 years; mean age, 9.9 years). Natural IFN- alpha was administered at a dose of 0.1 mega unit (MU)/kg (maximum dose, 6.0 MU) daily for 2 weeks and then three times per week for an additional 22 weeks (total dose, 8 MU/kg). IFN treatment was initiated at least 2 years after the completion of treatment for acute leukemia. A complete response was obtained in 5 children (38%). The serum level of anti-hepatitis C virus core antibody was closely related to the response to IFN. IFN therapy was well tolerated by all but 1 of the children, who developed mild transient heart failure 4 months after the initiation of therapy. IFN therapy for children with chronic hepatitis C who had underlying acute leukemia was beneficial. However, further trials are required to confirm the safety and improve the dosage schedule of IFN therapy.

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