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Schiemann, Uwe; Glas, J.; Torok, P.; Simperl, C.; Martin, K.; Konig, A.; Schmidt, F.; Schaefer, M.; Folwaczny, Christian (2003): Response to combination therapy with interferon alfa-2a and ribavirin in chronic hepatitis C according to a TNF-alpha promoter polymorphism. In: Digestion, Nr. 1: S. 1-4


Background. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) is involved in the pathogenesis of chronic active hepatitis C. Polymorphisms in the promoter region of the TNF-alpha gene can alter the TNF-alpha expression and modify the host immune response. The present study aimed at the correlation of the G308A TNF-alpha polymorphism with the response to antiviral combination therapy in chronic hepatitis C. Patients and Methods: 62 patients with HCV and 119 healthy unrelated controls were genotyped for the G308A TNF-alpha promoter polymorphism. The patients received 3 x 3 million units of interferon alfa-2a and 1,0001,200 mg ribavirin daily according to their body weight. A response was defined as absence of HCV-RNA and normalization of S-ALT after 6 months of combination therapy. Results:With respect to the allele and genotype frequency, a significant difference was not observed between controls and patients with chronic hepatitis C. Furthermore, such a difference was also not observed if responders and non-responders to antiviral therapy were compared. Conclusions: The promoter polymorphism of the TNF-alpha gene investigated herein is equally distributed in healthy individuals and patients with hepatitis C and does not seem to predict the response to therapy with interferon alfa-2a and ribavirin. Copyright (C) 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel.