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Treatment after age 65

Dr. Rodriguez:

I went to my hematologist Monday. He said it is unusual to treat HCV after age 65. He said if your parents lived into their late 80's or even 90's and you are in otherwise good health, only then would it be considered. I am nearly 62 and got HCV , genotype 1a, 30 years ago from a transfusion. I failed to clear the virus last year after 24 weeks of combo. I had pneumonia for several months, extremely low blood counts, yeast esophagititis and other sides that I can't remember right now. I was taken off the treatment. I'm about to start pegintron soon. I have the feeling that from what he said, this may be my last chance try.

Do you agree that age 65 is a reasonable cut off? I am in good health other than HCV and celiac disease that is controlled by my gluten free diet. What do you think of alternative treatments? What else is there that might be right for me?


Dr. Rodriquez writes--

Thanks for your input.Your question is very interesting because there are two ways to look at it.

First, we know that most patients that have a long course of chronic HCV get to a plateau when disease seems to be stablished and not progress more to be important clinically. In other words, what you got now should be it, and you are living fine with your liver damage.

Second, at this moment we may have the best alternatives in treatment ever for this disease ,and if you are a healthy 65, who says that you wont live till 90? I will definitely consider to use Pegasys when available,because the side effects are much less than Peg Intron, and the results in non-responders are good. Good luck!!! MR Ask our Experts All Questions