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Treatment of Patients With Delta Hepatitis Using Interferon

Giovanni C. Actis, MD; Eleonora Maran, PhD; Mario Rizzetto, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1986;146(10):2081. doi:10.1001/archinte.1986.00360220263047.
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To the Editor.  —Although interferon is being used in a growing number of human studies as a biological response modifier for therapy of malignancy and virus diseases of disparate kinds, the rationale of its use is still riddled with empiricism.Of the main actions of interferon, eg, induction of antiviral state, antineoplastic effect, and natural killer (NK) cell boosting capacity, the latter is well characterized in vitro, but its role in vivo does not seem clear from the results of therapeutic trials, and it has been stated that its changes do not correlate with the clinical results.1We describe herein a pilot study whereby severe liver disease due to the hepatitis B virus—dependent delta (HDV) agent2 in six patients was treated with interferon as recombinant α-2 interferon (Schering-Plough) at 5 mega units per square meter of body surface, three times weekly for three months. All patients had biopsy


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