Researchers at the University of Hopkins found a new study shows some cancer patients who also have the hepatitis C virus may benefit from treatment with the drug, interferon.
Past research has suggested a connection between the hepatitis C virus and some B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma's. A patient with both of these diseases was treated with the antiviral treatment interferon. The patient responded causing researchers in Paris to study whether the treatment could help other patients with a similar diagnosis.
Nine patients who had splenic lymphoma with villous lymphocytes, a specific type of B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and the hepatitis C virus infection were treated with interferon either alone or in combination with the drug, ribavirin. Outcomes of these patients were then compared to six similarly treated patients with splenic lymphoma with villous lymphocytes who did not have the hepatitis C virus infection.
Researchers report seven of the patients treated with interferon had a complete remission of their cancer. The other two patients had a partial and complete remission after the addition of ribavirin was added to their treatment. In contrast, none of the six patients without the hepatitis C virus responded to the interferon therapy.
Researchers felt that in patients with splenic lymphoma with villous lymphocytes who are infected with the hepatitis C virus, treatment with interferon can lead to remission of the lymphoma.