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Keywords:

  • chronic hepatitis;
  • hepatitis B virus;
  • hepatitis C virus;
  • antiviral treatment;
  • thymalfasin

Thymalfasin exhibited an immunomodulatory and a direct antiviral mechanism of action. The low rate of sustained response of chronic hepatitis with current therapies, underscores the need for new therapeutic options. It has been suggested that thymalfasin may have efficacy in the treatment of chronic hepatitis B and C. Pilots studies in patients with chronic hepatitis B treated with thymalfasin in combination with interferon or nucleoside analogue, showed a 70% complete sustained response rate. Studies in chronic hepatitis C patients, would indicate that thymalfasin in combination with standard or pegylated interferon with ribavirin may improve response rate in hepatitis C virus (HCV) naïve and nonresponder patients. However, a large phase-III randomized study conducted in Europe in HCV patients nonresponder to Peg-interferon with ribavirin, demonstrated that thymalfasin did not improve the rate of sustained virologic responses, but, in patients who completed therapy, thymalfasin significantly diminished the relapse rate. In conclusion, thymalfasin, in combination with the standard of care, may be helpful as an adjuvant in the treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis B and C.