Short duration treatment in genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C patients with rapid virologic response to pegylated interferon plus ribavirin.Biomed Pharmacother. 2011 Jul; 65(4):303-6.BP
In patients with chronic hepatitis C, rapid HCV-RNA clearance under treatment might allow shorter treatment duration without modifying the sustained virological response (SVR) rate. This study evaluated the impact of rapid virological response (RVR) in HCV genotype 1b infection management.
In an open-label trial, 180 patients received standard doses of peginterferon alfa-2a plus ribavirin. Those with undetectable serum HCV-RNA at week 6 (RVR) received 24-week short-course treatment; patients with undetectable HCV-RNA at week 12 (early responders [ER]) received 48-week "standard of care" treatment; patients with positive HCV-RNA at week 12 (non-responders [NR]) stopped the treatment. Study end-point was to determine SVR rate at week 24.
The following responses were observed: 24% RVR, 44% ER, 32% NR. Among RVR subjects, HCV-RNA baseline levels and age were significantly lower (P=0.038 and 0.035 respectively) than in non-RVR patients. At follow-up, 91% of RVR and 33% of ER patients achieved SVR. Among those with RVR, patients experiencing post-therapy relapse were older than those who achieved a SVR (P=0.028).
Chronic HCV-1b patients, achieving RVR with a 24-week treatment regimen, attained excellent SVR rates. In a cost-effective therapeutic approach, all HCV-1b patients eligible for therapy may have a short duration therapy on the basis of RVR.