The 12th Invest in ME Conference, Part 1
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Have the results of Dr Chia's ME/CFS interferon treatment actually proven enterovirus causes ME/CFS?

Discussion in 'Antivirals, Antibiotics and Immune Modulators' started by Hip, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. eljefe19

    eljefe19

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    From u/hip. I am attempting to boost interferon alpha endogenously to kill the echovirus, so we are looking at the best ways to do that. Benicar has been found to induce cathelicidin, a natural TLR3 type agonist, hence it improves the action of interferon.
     
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  2. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Senior Member

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    In charite they use interferon for chronic viral myocarditis with coxsackie for 6 months.
    After eradicating this viruses they were no relapse for 10 years (120 months)
    Maybe dr.chia should try it for 6 instead of 3 months?
    If it doesn't work than we know that not the virus but the immune system is the culprit
     
  3. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Senior Member

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    Screenshot_20170603-115752.jpg
     
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  4. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    That's an interesting fact and suggestion. I am not aware of any ME/CFS patient who was given interferon treatment for more than 3 months. There were two previous studies on interferon treatment for ME/CFS (see here and here), and these also only treated patients for 12 weeks.

    EDIT: actually, that's not quite true: in this paper Dr Chia says he treated some patients for 6 months with a combination of interferon and ribavirin.


    It's possible, though, that the chronic active enterovirus infections in ME/CFS are disseminated too widely in the various organs of the body to properly eradicate it. In ME/CFS, enterovirus is found in the all the skeletal muscles, the stomach and intestines, and in autospy studies, even the brain.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017
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  5. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Senior Member

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    [The clinical diagnosis and treatment of meningitis caused by Coxsackie B viruses].
    [Article in Russian]

    "T he drug considerably shortened period of fever and drove away main clinical symptoms."

    In this Study they treated meningitis with regaferon (a Russian kind of interferon).
    When this drug can reach brain and heart then there should be the possibility to eradicate all this pathogens.
     
  6. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Senior Member

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    I guess the finding of the coxsackie virus in every part of the body is a side effect and not the cause.
    In my beginning of the disease I always had a sore throat.
    Doctor made several times a swab and found always really strange bacteria.
    He told me that he only found this in persons with aids or really bad immune system.
     
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  7. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    A point of comparison is interferon alpha treatment for chronic hepatitis C virus infection. In hepatitis patients, interferon is given for one year, but this does not eradicate the virus in all cases, and the success rate depends on the patient's genotype.

    Being on interferon for a year though is hard going, as the side effects can be awful, like fatigue, fever and serious depression. If you are already feeling bad because of ME/CFS, it's going to be extra tough to take interferon. This is one of the problems with interferon.

    Now of course there is an antiviral drug called Harvoni which can usually fully eradicate hepatitis C virus in 12 weeks, with very few of those bad side effects; although this drug is very expensive, approaching $100,000 for a full course of treatment in the US (though the same treatment costs $900 in India).

    Dr John Chia has successfully encouraged drug companies to begin research into developing a similar drug for eradicating chronic enterovirus infections.
     
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  8. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Senior Member

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    Maybe because hepatitis is not like the enterovirus.
    The study with chronic myocarditis patients had no non - responder.
     
  9. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Would you know how many patients there were in the myocarditis study, and do you have a link to the study?
     
  10. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Senior Member

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    Interferon-Beta Improves Survival in
    Enterovirus-Associated Cardiomyopathy

    Search via Google because I just have a downloaded file.
    I hope you find good informations for you.
     
  11. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I think the study you are thinking of is this one. They treated 22 myocarditis patients with either enteroviral or adenoviral infections for 6 months with interferon beta (which is not the same as the interferon alpha used in ME/CFS studies); they found that viral clearance occurred in all 22 patients, as determined by nested PCR testing of endomyocardial biopsies of the heart.

    However, according to Dr Chia, it is difficult to detect enterovirus in the tissues using PCR. See this post.

    I think this may be the study that @RYO read. He tried interferon beta for 6 months, got some improvements in ME/CFS symptoms, but then relapsed after 6 to 8 months. See this post.
     
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  12. halcyon

    halcyon Senior Member

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    There is nothing to indicate that this is true at this point. I think the evidence available points to the opposite. Two studies of interferon alpha treatment in ME have shown that enterovirus antibody titers/PCR results normalize (and presumably viral load drops) in response to treatment and simultaneously patients are put into remission. 3 months of interferon is not enough to clear the virus completely though and the virus grows back. The same thing happens with hepatitis C and interferon treatment.
     
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  13. Jesse2233

    Jesse2233 Senior Member

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    Are you referring to Dr Chia's work?
     
  14. halcyon

    halcyon Senior Member

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    Yes, and others. This is the sum of literature as far as I know on interferon and ME:

    Brook et al. 1993
    • 20 adults (14 women, 6 men)
    • Three megaunits of interferon alpha 2b (Schering-Plough Intron-A) 3x weekly for 3 months
    • Three month followup
    • 3 patients fully recovered, 2 of 3 seen 1 year later were still fully recovered
    • 2 further patients improved, and were still improved 8 months later
    • 80% of responders and 6% of nonresponders had detectable coxsackie B IgM
    See et al. 1996
    • 30 adults (24 women, 6 men)
    • 3 million units interferon alpha 2a (Roche Pegasys?) 3x weekly for 3 months
    • Dose given in evening with 16oz water + 650mg of acetominophen 2 hours before dose to minimize side effects + help blind study
    • One month followup after study
    • Patients with low NK cell function and normal lymphocyte proliferation had significant response to treatment at 12 weeks
    Chia 2004
    • 10 adults (8 women, 2 men)
    • Initial treatment with 400mg ribavirin BID
    • Combination therapy initiated for 5 patients with ribavirin and 3 million units interferon alpha 2b (Schering-Plough Intron-A) 3x weekly for 4-6 months
    • All patients seemed to relapse eventually after treatment

    Chia and Brook et al. measured enterovirus titers, and Chia importantly also looked at enterovirus RNA in PBMCs. He showed that patients become RNA negative and titers drop in response to the treatment, but also that some of the patients go RNA negative, but titers remain somewhat elevated. This jives with what was seen in the Brook et al. study as well if I recall as some responders didn't see a drop in titers but they improved so they probably also had a reduction in viral load but not total clearance of the virus.
     
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  15. Jesse2233

    Jesse2233 Senior Member

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    Very interesting @halcyon, I'd not seen those earlier studies. Nitpicking a bit but Brook et al had CBV IgM which would mean active virus right? Regardless it's very interesting, especially given the success of Ampligen which presumably boosts IFN as well

    Have you ever considered trying IFN-a?
     
  16. halcyon

    halcyon Senior Member

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    In theory. We can't really compare apples to apples because Chia uses the ARUP test which just measures general neutralizing response, which I believe will represent the combined effect of IgG and IgM neutralizing antibodies.

    Yes, I wanted to, but Chia didn't recommend it for me when I asked for it. He's not impressed with his study or the previous studies with regards to long term efficacy. He thinks the studies followed up too early and said many of the patients probably relapsed later on. I think the Brook study is pretty impressive though, since some patients were still well after 1 year and also after 8 months.

    I do plan on trying out viferon though. I'm just trying to figure out what else to combine it with to increase the odds of clearing enough virus to make a difference.
     
  17. Jesse2233

    Jesse2233 Senior Member

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    Will be curious to hear what you decide to stack IFN with @halcyon

    what I don't get is why Dr Chia doesn't offer it on a repeat basis. If it works, I would rather be in remission with side effects and a lighter wallet than disabled and unable to build a life. Even a temporary remission would allow me to take care of some unfinished business.

    Remembering now that Chia told me he's seen interferon cause ME/CfS in some Hep C patients, so maybe there's a fear of it making people worse. FWIW it's what he gave his son, and he's still in remission a decade later
     
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  18. Jesse2233

    Jesse2233 Senior Member

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    I've wondered about this. I tested negative for a general enterovirus PCR assay but positive for ARUP's CBV4 assay. I've never been sure how to square the two
     
  19. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    The problem with repeated use of IV interferon is that after a while you start to create anti-interferon antibodies that disable it.
     
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  20. Jesse2233

    Jesse2233 Senior Member

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    Didn't realize this. Is this just true for external interferon (vs endogenous)? And could one use Rituximab in conjunction with IFN to prevent production of the IFN antibodies?
     

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