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Local Researchers Testing Hepatitis B Treatment for Children

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Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

fred-bodimer Fred Bodimer
Fred Bodimer joined KMOX in 1982 after graduating from the University...
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CBS St. Louis (con't)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Saint Louis University researchers are testing a new treatment for children with Hepatitis B.

Lead researcher Dr. Jeff Teckman, a gastroenterologist at St. Louis University and Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, says they are studying a combination of two medications to treat children who have early stages of Hepatitis B.

“The treatment involves a shot once a week of a drug which helps the immune system target the infection, so it helps the body’s own defenses attack the infection,” Teckman says. “Then the other medicine is taken orally and is an antibiotic against the virus.”

Together, Teckman says he thinks the two will provide increased protection against the infection which is still a problem in the United States, especially among the immigrant population or foreign-adopted children.

“So, by combining an antibiotic against the virus and focusing the body’s immune system against the virus, we think we can have increased activity and improve the infection,” he says.

More than 350 million people are chronically infected with the virus that causes severe liver damage and many kinds of health problems including liver cancer and death.

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