Single nucleotide polymorphism in the interleukin28B (IL28B) gene was recently shown to be associated with a significant increase in response to interferon-α and ribavirin treatment in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Similarly, thyroid disease (TD) occurring during treatment confer an improved sustained virologic response (SVR).
To determine the role of IL28B genotypes in a cohort of hepatitis C patients who develop TD during treatment and its relationship to SVR.
Patients and Methods:
IL28B gene profiles including rs12979860, rs12980275 and rs 8099917 and their genotypes were determined in a cohort of 23 hepatitis C patients who developed TD during treatment and their relationship to SVR.
Out of 23 studies cases, 19 has one or more favorable genotypes, of which 15 (78.9%) achieved SVR. Eleven has all three unfavorable genotypes and yet achieved 72.7 % SVR. The presence of more than one favorable genotype only correctly predicts SVR vs. non- SVR in ~50 % of cases, i.e. by chance.
Despite the small number of subjects, the presence of one or more unfavorable IL28B genotype does not portend a poor SVR prognostic outcome. This suggests that TD in this clinical context may be a critical factor in the achievement of SVR, probably above that of the genetic predisposition.
Polymorphism, Genetic; Hepatitis C; Thyroiditis
The treatment for chronic hepatitis C (CHC) is removal of the virus in order to prevent progression to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Few data have been presented regarding the clinical significance of changes in the alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level in this context. We analyzed the patterns of changes in ALT level and investigated the relationship between the rapid normalization of ALT and sustained virologic response (SVR) after combined treatment with peginterferon and ribavirin.
CHC patients (n=370) were classified into four groups according to the initial ALT level and subsequent changes: (1) initially abnormal ALT level and sustained abnormal ALT level during treatment, (2) initially abnormal ALT level but achievement of ALT normalization, (3) initially normal ALT level and variable ALT abnormality during treatment, and (4) initially normal ALT level and sustained normalization of ALT level during treatment. We subdivided groups 1 and 2 into those with patterns of decreased and normalization of ALT, with or without rapid normalization. We checked the end-treatment response (ETR) and SVR rates in each group and the factors associated with SVR, including patterns of changes in ALT level.
A total of 168 patients completed the therapy (age=54.34±10.64 years [mean±SD], 95 males [56.5%], genotype 1:82 [48.8%]). SVR was achieved in 115 (68.45%) of the completely treated patients. The SVR rate was significantly lower in group 1 than in group 2 (37.8 vs. 81.6%, P<0.001), and significantly higher in the rapid normalization group than in the group without rapid normalization (78.5% vs. 41.2%, P<0.001). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that age (odds ratio [OR]=0.94, 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.91-0.98, P=0.005), viral genotype (OR=2.76, 95% CI=1.20-6.38, P=0.017), and initial hepatitis C virus RNA titer (OR=0.28, 95% CI=0.10-0.75, P=0.012) were identified as independent significant predictive factors for SVR.
The SVR rate is significantly associated with normalization, and especially rapid normalization of ALT. Rapid normalization of ALT by 4 weeks after treatment might be a useful response factor that is readily available in clinical practice, and especially for genotype 1 patients.
Hepatitis C; Chronic; Ribavirin; Alanine transaminase; Peginterferon
The reappearance rates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA after a sustained virological response (SVR) have been reported to be 1-2%. We investigated the reappearance rate of HCV RNA after SVR in chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients treated with pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin.
In total, 292 CHC patients who achieved an SVR after PEG-IFN and ribavirin treatment were included. They were treated with subcutaneous injections of either PEG-IFN-α 2a or 2b plus ribavirin orally. Liver function tests and qualitative HCV RNA assays were performed every 6 months during the follow-up period after an SVR.
Among the 292 patients, 224 (genotype 1, 92; genotype non-1, 132) were followed up for more than 6 months after SVR. These 224 patients were aged 48.1±11.5 years (mean±SD), and 129 of them were male. The median follow-up duration was 18 months (range 6-60 months). The reappearance rate of HCV RNA during follow-up was 0%. Two patients who achieved an SVR developed hepatocellular carcinoma during the follow-up period.
An SVR was maintained in all CHC patients treated with PEG-IFN plus ribavirin during a median follow-up of 18 months. However, a screening test for hepatocellular carcinoma is needed for patients with an SVR.
Durability; Sustained virological response; Chronic hepatitis C; Pegylated interferon; Ribavirin
In patients with genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C infection, telaprevir (TVR) in combination with peginterferon and ribavirin (PR) significantly increased sustained virologic response (SVR) rates compared with PR alone. However, genotypic changes could be observed in TVR-treated patients who did not achieve an SVR.
Population sequence analysis of the NS3•4A region was performed in patients who did not achieve SVR with TVR-based treatment.
Resistant variants were observed after treatment with a telaprevir-based regimen in 12% of treatment-naïve patients (ADVANCE; T12PR arm), 6% of prior relapsers, 24% of prior partial responders, and 51% of prior null responder patients (REALIZE, T12PR48 arms). NS3 protease variants V36M, R155K, and V36M+R155K emerged frequently in patients with genotype 1a and V36A, T54A, and A156S/T in patients with genotype 1b. Lower-level resistance to telaprevir was conferred by V36A/M, T54A/S, R155K/T, and A156S variants; and higher-level resistance to telaprevir was conferred by A156T and V36M+R155K variants. Virologic failure during telaprevir treatment was more common in patients with genotype 1a and in prior PR nonresponder patients and was associated with higher-level telaprevir-resistant variants. Relapse was usually associated with wild-type or lower-level resistant variants. After treatment, viral populations were wild-type with a median time of 10 months for genotype 1a and 3 weeks for genotype 1b patients.
A consistent, subtype-dependent resistance profile was observed in patients who did not achieve an SVR with telaprevir-based treatment. The primary role of TVR is to inhibit wild-type virus and variants with lower-levels of resistance to telaprevir. The complementary role of PR is to clear any remaining telaprevir-resistant variants, especially higher-level telaprevir-resistant variants. Resistant variants are detectable in most patients who fail to achieve SVR, but their levels decline over time after treatment.
Chronic hepatitis C is a major cause of chronic liver disease globally, and the natural history of progression may lead to cirrhosis with liver failure, hepatocellular carcinoma, and premature liver-related death. Emerging data demonstrates that interferon-based therapy, particularly among those achieving a sustained virologic response (SVR), is associated with long-term persistence of SVR, improved fibrosis and inflammation scores, reduced incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma, and prolonged life expectancy. This reduction in the rate of progression has also been demonstrated in patients with chronic hepatitis C and cirrhosis in some but not all studies. The majority of these results are reported with standard interferon therapy, and long-term results of peginterferon plus ribavirin therapy with a higher likelihood of SVR should have a yet greater impact on the population of treated patients. The impact on slowing progression is greatest in patients with an SVR, less in relapsers, and equivocal in nonresponders. Thus, the natural history of chronic hepatitis C after completion of antiviral therapy is favorable with achievement of an SVR, although further data are needed to determine the likely incremental impact of peginterferon plus ribavirin, late long-term effects of therapy, and the benefit of treatment in patients with advanced hepatic fibrosis.
The current standard-of-care for chronic hepatitis C viral infection is treatment with
pegylated interferon (PegIFN) plus ribavirin for 24 to 48 weeks. Approximately 50% of
HCV-infected patients achieve a sustained viral response (SVR) to this treatment. However,
the remaining patients either respond during treatment but relapse upon treatment
cessation, respond minimally, or do not respond at all. Much research effort has been
expended in attempting to predict those patients who will achieve viral eradication with
PegIFN/ribavirin treatment, and it is now clear that those who have either a rapid
virologic response (RVR) by week 4 of treatment or a complete early virologic response
(cEVR, HCV RNA qualitative negative) by week 12 will go on to achieve SVR at very high
rates (70%–90%). Several trials have been completed in patients that fail to
achieve RVR or cEVR. These trials include strategies of extending duration of therapy,
induction regimens, or retreatment with similar and dissimilar alfa interferons. A recent
study of 696 genotype 1 patients treated with both PegIFN and weight-based ribavirin
revealed that only 1.6% (4/246) of patients without RVR or cEVR achieved SVR. Consensus
interferon, a wholly synthetic interferonalfa, is one of the agents that has been utilized
in patients that fail treatment with PegIFN/ribavirin. This molecule has been demonstrated
to have a very high affinity for the interferon-alfa receptor, and laboratory studies have
demonstrated that it has high levels of antiviral activity. In order to optimally utilize
consensus interferon, it is important to understand its unique mechanism of action. In
addition, the latest research showing the importance of achieving RVR or cEVR should be
reviewed, along with strategies for utilizing consensus interferon in re-treatment, or
more specifically upon identification of on-treatment failure in historically
The goal of antiviral therapy for patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is to attain a sustained virologic response (SVR), which is defined as undetectable serum HCV-RNA levels at 6 months after the cessation of treatment. Major improvements in antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis C have occurred in the past decade. The addition of ribavirin to interferon-alfa therapy and the introduction of pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) have substantially improved SVR rates in patients with chronic hepatitis C. The optimization of HCV therapy with PEG-IFN and ribavirin continues to evolve. Studies are ongoing that use viral kinetics to tailor therapy to an individual's antiviral response and determine the ideal length of treatment to maximize the chance of SVR. Improved SVR can be achieved with new specific inhibitors that target the HCV NS3/4A protease and the NS5B polymerase. Several long-term follow-up studies have shown that SVR, when achieved, is associated with a very low risk of virologic relapse. Furthermore, antiviral therapy can reduce the morbidity and mortality rates associated with chronic hepatitis C by reducing fibrosis progression, the incidence of cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Chronic hepatitis C; Virology; Therapeutics
Treatments for chronic hepatitis C has evolved significantly in the past 15 years. The standard of care (SOC) is peginterferon alfa-2a/-2b with ribavirin for 48 weeks or 24 weeks in patients infected with HCV genotype 1 or 2/3, respectively. The treatment duration can be individualized based on the baseline viral load and the speed of the virologic response during treatment. However, current therapies are associated with side effects, complications, and poor patient tolerability. Therefore, there is an urgent need to identify better strategies for treating this disease. An improved sustained virologic response (SVR) can be achieved with new HCV-specific inhibitors against NS3/4A and NS5B polymerases. Recent trials have found SVR rates in patients with HCV genotype 1 infection of 61~68% and 67~75% for combining the SOC with the protease inhibitors telaprevir and boceprevir, respectively. Several new HCV-specific inhibitors such as protease inhibitors and nucleoside and non-nucleoside polymerase inhibitors as well as non-HCV-specific compounds with anti-HCV activity are currently in clinical evaluation. In this review we discuss these new treatments for chronic hepatitis C.
Treatments; Chronic Hepatitis C
AIM: To evaluate the efficacy of pegylated interferon α-2b (peg-IFNα-2b) plus ribavirin (RBV) therapy in Japanese patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) genotype Ib and a high viral load.
METHODS: One hundred and twenty CHC patients (58.3% male) who received peg-IFNα-2b plus RBV therapy for 48 wk were enrolled. Sustained virological response (SVR) and clinical parameters were evaluated.
RESULTS: One hundred (83.3%) of 120 patients completed 48 wk of treatment. 53 patients (44.3%) achieved SVR. Early virological response (EVR) and end of treatment response (ETR) rates were 50% and 73.3%, respectively. The clinical parameters (SVR vs non-SVR) associated with SVR, ALT (108.4 IU/L vs 74.5 IU/L, P = 0.063), EVR (76.4% vs 16.4%, P < 0.0001), adherence to peg-IFN (≥ 80% of planned dose) at week 12 (48.1% vs 13.6%, P = 0.00036), adherence to peg-IFN at week 48 (54.7% vs 16.2%, P < 0.0001) and adherence to RBV at week 48 (56.1% vs 32.1%, P = 0.0102) were determined using univariate analysis, and EVR and adherence to peg-IFN at week 48 were determined using multivariate analysis. In the older patient group (> 56 years), SVR in females was significantly lower than that in males (17% vs 50%, P = 0.0262). EVR and adherence to Peg-IFN were demonstrated to be the main factors associated with SVR.
CONCLUSION: Peg-IFNα-2b plus RBV combination therapy demonstrated good tolerability in Japanese patients with CHC and resulted in a SVR rate of 44.3%. Treatment of elderly female patients is still challenging and maintenance of adherence to peg-IFNα-2b is important in improving the SVR rate.
Chronic hepatitis C; Pegylated interferon; Ribavirin
Chronic hepatitis C is an important health issue worldwide. The current standard therapy is based on a combination of pegylated-interferon (pegIFN) and ribavirin (RBV), but this treatment leads to only ~50% sustained virological response (SVR) in patients with HCV genotype 1 and high viral loads, who were mostly null-responders or relapsers. Among HCV genotypes other than HCV genotype 1, especially HCV genotype 4 patients show only 40–70% SVR by this treatment. Although new drugs also depend on the combination of pegIFN and RBV, it appears that these drugs improve not only rapid virological response (RVR) but also early virological response, leading to SVR in these patients. In the near future, we predict higher SVR rates in chronic hepatitis C patients treated with these new drugs.
EVR; Protease inhibitor; Polymerase inhibitor; Ribavirin; Vitamin D
Rapid virological response (RVR) strongly predicts sustained virological response (SVR) in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC), and abbreviates antiviral therapy in some patients.
To identify factors predicting virological relapse (VR) in CHC patients who attained RVR.
Patients and Methods
Medical records of 133 CHC patients with an RVR after completing 24 weeks of antiviral therapy (a combination of pegylated interferon-α and ribavirin) were analyzed. Baseline characteristics and on-treatment responses were compared between the patients with an SVR and those with VR. Patients with normal alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels at weeks 4 and 12 and at the end-of-treatment (EoT) and patients with elevated, but constantly decreasing, ALT levels were classified as having favorable patterns of ALT change. A trend of increasing ALT levels either between weeks 4 and 12 or between weeks 12 and EoT was classified as unfavorable. A high viral load (HVL) was defined as a baseline HCV RNA ≥ 600000 IU/mL.
In total, 116 (87.2%) patients had a SVR and 14 (10.5%) had VR. The VR rates were comparable between patients with genotype-1 (13.1%) and genotype-2 infection (8.7%) (P = 0.572). Multivariate analysis revealed that HVL (P = 0.015; odds ratio [OR] = 14.754; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.671–130.240), and unfavorable ALT patterns (P = 0.039; OR = 4.397; 95% CI = 1.078–17.930) independently predicted VR. In subgroup analysis, low viral load (LVL) patients had a minimal VR rate (1.8%). Among the HVL patients, the VR rate of those using peg-IFN-α-2a was relatively low (9.1%). Patients using peg-IFN-α-2b had a slightly higher VR rate (23.8%; P = 0.128), and patients with favorable patterns of ALT changes had a lower VR rate (10.3%) compared to the 53.8% in patients with unfavorable ALT patterns (P = 0.005).
In southern Taiwan, 24 weeks of antiviral therapy achieved a high SVR rate in patients with CHC attaining RVR, except in the subgroup of patients treated with peg-IFN-α-2b with HVL and on-treatment unfavorable ALT patterns.
Chronic Hepatitis C; Pegylated Interferon Alfa-2a; Ribavirin; Relapse
Chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients achieving rapid virological response (RVR) on PEG-IFN/ribavirin (P/R) therapy have high chance of sustained virological response (SVR). To analyze host immunological factors associated with RVR, viral kinetics, phenotype distribution and Th1/Th2 cytokine production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were studied prior to and during P/R therapy.
TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-6, IL-4 and IL-10 production by PBMC were measured after Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4) or phorbol myristate acetate/Ionomycin stimulation in 20 healthy controls and in 50 CHC patients before receiving and during P/R therapy. RVR was achieved by 14, complete early virological response (cEVR) by 19 patients and 17 patients were null-responders (NR).
Patients with RVR showed an increased baseline TNF-α and IL-6 production by TLR-4 activated monocytes and increased IFN-γ, decreased IL-4 and IL-10 production by lymphocytes compared to non-RVR patients. SVR was also associated with increased baseline TNF-α production and decreased IL-10 levels compared to patients who did not achieve SVR. Baseline IL-2 production was higher in cEVR compared to NR patients. Antiviral treatment increased TNF-α, IL-6 production by monocytes and IFN-γ secretion by lymphocytes and decreased IL-4 and IL-10 production by lymphocytes in cEVR compared to NR patients.
RVR was associated with increased baseline proinflammatory cytokine production by TLR-4 stimulated monocytes and by activated lymphocytes. In null-responders and in patients who did not achieve SVR both TLR-4 sensing function and proinflammatory cytokine production were impaired, suggesting that modulation of TLR activity and controlled induction of inflammatory cytokine production may provide further therapeutic strategy for CHC patients non-responding to P/R treatment.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of interleukin-28B (IL28B) have received considerable interest for their association with sustained virological response (SVR) when treating patients of genotype-1 hepatitis C virus (GT1-HCV) chronic infection with pegylated interferon and ribavirin (PegIFN/RBV). This study was to investigate the predictive power of IL28B SNPs for on-treatment responses and SVR in treatment-naïve patients with GT1-HCV chronic infection.
We analyzed ten SNPs of IL28B in 191 treatment-naïve patients with GT1-HCV chronic infection who received PegIFN/RBV. In these patients, rapid virological response (RVR), early virological response (EVR) and SVR were achieved in 69.6%, 95.8% and 68.6% of the patients, respectively. Multivariate analysis (odds ratio; 95% confidence interval; P value) indicated age (0.96; 0.93–0.99; 0.012), low baseline viral load (4.65; 2.23–9.66; <0.001) and CC genotype of rs12979860 (7.74; 2.55–23.53; <0.001) but no other SNPs were independent predictors for SVR. In addition, none of the ten SNPs examined were associated with baseline viral load and stages of liver fibrosis. Regarding RVR, low baseline viral load (2.83; 1.40–5.73; 0.004) and CC genotype of rs12979860 (10.52; 3.45–32.04; <0.001) were two critical predictors. As for EVR, only CC genotype of rs12979860 (36.21; 6.68–196.38; <0.001) was the predictor. Similarly, for end of treatment response (ETR), CC genotype of rs12979860 (15.42; 4.62–51.18; <0.001) was the only predictor. For patients with RVR, only low baseline viral load (3.90; 1.57–9.68; 0.003) could predict the SVR. For patients without RVR, only rs12979860 (4.60; 1.13–18.65; 0.033) was the predictor for SVR.
rs12979860 is the critical predictor for RVR, EVR, ETR and SVR in treatment-naïve patients of GT1-HCV chronic infection. Furthermore, this SNP is the only predictor for SVR in patients without RVR. These results have provided evidence that rs12979860 is the ideal IL28B SNP for genetic testing in treating patients of GT1-HCV chronic infection.
Pegylated interferon (peginterferon) and ribavirin is the current standard therapy for chronic hepatitis C. The aims of this study were to evaluate the efficacy of peginterferon and ribavirin and to identify predictors of a sustained virological response (SVR) to the retreatment of chronic hepatitis C in Korea.
The clinical records of 91 patients with chronic hepatitis C who were retreated with peginterferon and ribavirin were retrospectively analyzed. None of the patients had previously attained a SVR, and the patients were categorized according to their previous responses (nonresponder, relapser, or inadequate treatment) to conventional interferon/ribavirin.
The overall SVR rate was 54.9%. Independent predictors of a SVR were genotypes 2 and 3, relapse, an adherence to peginterferon of over 80%, and an early virological response (EVR). For genotype 1 patients, an adherence to peginterferon of over 80% was an independent predictor of a SVR.
Peginterferon and ribavirin therapy is effective for the retreatment of Korean chronic hepatitis C patients who have failed interferon/ribavirin, especially in patients with genotypes 2 and 3, relapse, an adherence to peginterferon over 80%, and an EVR. For genotype 1 patients, retreatment was effective in patients with an adherence to peginterferon over 80%.
Retreatment; Hepatitis C, chronic; Peginterferon; Ribavirin
AIM: To evaluate the long-term eradication of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and liver-related complications in chronically infected patients that have achieved sustained virological response.
METHODS: One hundred and fifty subjects with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) or cirrhosis and sustained virological response (SVR) between the years of 1989 and 2008 were enrolled in a long-term clinical follow-up study at the Gastrointestinal and Liver Unit of the University Hospital of Naples “Federico II”. At the beginning of the study, the diagnosis of HCV infection was made on the basis of serum positivity for antibodies to HCV and detection of HCV RNA transcripts, while a diagnosis of chronic hepatitis was formulated using imaging techniques and/or a liver biopsy. SVR was achieved by interferon-based therapy, both conventional and pegylated, with and without ribavirin treatment. The patients were evaluated for follow-up at a median length of 8.6 years, but ranged from 2-19.9 years. Among them, 137 patients had pre-treatment CHC and 13 had cirrhosis. The patients were followed with clinical, biochemical, virological, and ultrasound assessments on a given schedule. Finally, a group of 27 patients underwent a liver biopsy at the beginning of the study and transient elastography at their final visit to evaluate changes in liver fibrosis.
RESULTS: The median follow-up was 8.6 years (range 2-19.9 years). HCV RNA remained undetectable in all patients, even in patients who eventually developed liver-related complications, indicating no risk of HCV recurrence. Three liver-related complications were observed: two cases of hepatocellular carcinoma and one case of bleeding from esophageal varices resulting in an incidence rate of 0.23%/person per year. Further, all three complications took place in patients diagnosed with cirrhosis before treatment began. Only one death due to liver-related causes occurred, resulting in a mortality rate of 0.077% person per year. This amounts to a 99.33% survival rate in our cohort of patients after therapy for HCV infection. Finally, of the 27 patients who underwent a liver biopsy at the beginning of the study, a reduction in liver fibrosis was observed in 70.3% of the cases; only three cases registering values of liver stiffness indicative of significant fibrosis.
CONCLUSION: Patients with CHC and SVR show an excellent prognosis with no risk of recurrence and a very low rate of mortality. Our data indicate that virus-eradication following interferon treatment can last up to 20 years.
Antiviral therapy; Cirrhosis; Hepatitis C virus; Sustained virological response; Fibrosis
Genetic variation in IL28B and other factors are associated with sustained virological response (SVR) after pegylated-interferon/ribavirin treatment for chronic hepatitis C (CHC). Using data from the HALT-C Trial, we developed a model to predict a patient's probability of SVR based on IL28B genotype and clinical variables.
HALT-C enrolled patients with advanced CHC who had failed previous interferon-based treatment. Subjects were re-treated with pegylated-interferon/ribavirin during trial lead-in. We used step-wise logistic regression to calculate adjusted odds ratios (aOR) and create the predictive model. Leave-one-out cross-validation was used to predict a priori probabilities of SVR and determine area under the receiver operator characteristics curve (AUC).
Among 646 HCV genotype 1-infected European American patients, 14.2% achieved SVR. IL28B rs12979860-CC genotype was the strongest predictor of SVR (aOR, 7.56; p<.0001); the model also included HCV RNA (log10 IU/ml), AST∶ALT ratio, Ishak fibrosis score and prior ribavirin treatment. For this model AUC was 78.5%, compared to 73.0% for a model restricted to the four clinical predictors and 60.0% for a model restricted to IL28B genotype (p<0.001). Subjects with a predicted probability of SVR <10% had an observed SVR rate of 3.8%; subjects with a predicted probability >10% (43.3% of subjects) had an SVR rate of 27.9% and accounted for 84.8% of subjects actually achieving SVR. To verify that consideration of both IL28B genotype and clinical variables is required for treatment decisions, we calculated AUC values from published data for the IDEAL Study.
A clinical prediction model based on IL28B genotype and clinical variables can yield useful individualized predictions of the probability of treatment success that could increase SVR rates and decrease the frequency of futile treatment among patients with CHC.
AIM: To assess the clinical, biochemical and virological long-term outcome in chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients with a sustained virological response (SVR) after peginterferon (PEG-IFN) plus ribavirin combination therapy.
METHODS: One hundred and fifty three patients with a SVR after treatment with PEG-IFN plus ribavirin were included in a 5-year follow-up study in a single Spanish center, based on standard clinical practice. Clinical anamnesis, biochemical analysis, hepatitis C virus RNA and alpha-fetoprotein measurement, ultrasonography and transient elastography were performed annually.
RESULTS: The mean follow-up period of the 153 patients was 76 ± 13 mo after they obtained a SVR. Five patients (3.26%) presented with cirrhosis before treatment and 116 (75.8%) had genotype 1. No patient showed evidence of hepatic decompensation. One patient (0.65%) developed a hepatocellular carcinoma at month 30 after achieving SVR. There were no virological relapses during this follow-up period. Persistently elevated alanine aminotransferase was found in only one patient (0.65%). At the end of the 5-year follow-up, the mean value of transient elastography was 7 ± 4.3 kPa (F1). There were no deaths and no other tumors.
CONCLUSION: The long-term outcome of 153 CHC patients with SVR to PEG-IFN plus ribavirin was good. No evidence of a virological relapse was seen. One patient (0.65%) developed a hepatocellular carcinoma.
Chronic hepatitis C; Peginterferon; Ribavirin; Sustained virological response; Long-term effects
Chronic infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major public health problem, with perhaps 180 million people infected worldwide. A significant proportion of these will eventually develop clinical complications, such as cirrhosis, liver decompensation and hepatocellular carcinoma. Sustained virological response (SVR) to antiviral therapy is associated with improvement in liver histology and survival free of liver-related complications. Great effort has been made to improve SVR rate by adapting the duration of therapy according to HCV genotype and to on-treatment response. Rapid virological response (RVR, undetectable HCV RNA at week 4) usually has a high positive predictive value for achieving SVR and early virological response (EVR, ≥ 2 log reduction or undetectable HCV RNA at week 12) exhibits a high negative predictive value for non-response. Individualized approach can improve cost-effectiveness of HCV antiviral therapy by reducing side effects and the costs of therapy associated with unnecessary exposure to treatment and through extending therapy for those with unfavorable features. This article summarizes recent data on strategies of individualized treatment in naïve patients with mono-infection by the different HCV genotypes. The management of common side effects, the impact of HCV infection on health-related quality of life and the potential applications of host genomics in HCV therapy are also briefly discussed.
hepatitis C; pegylated interferon; individualized treatment; genotype; genomics
Chronic Hepatitis C (HCV) infection is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with end-stage renal disease. Renal transplantation confers a survival advantage in HCV-infected patients. Renal transplant candidates with serologic evidence of HCV infection should undergo a liver biopsy to assess for fibrosis and cirrhosis. Patients with Metavir fibrosis score ≤3 and compensated cirrhosis should be evaluated for interferon-based therapy. Achievement of sustained virological response (SVR) may reduce the risks for both posttransplantation hepatic and extrahepatic complications such as de novo or recurrent glomerulonephritis associated with HCV. Patients who cannot achieve SVR and have no live kidney donor may be considered for HCV-positive kidneys. Interferon should be avoided after kidney transplant except for treatment of life-threatening liver injury, such as fibrosing cholestatic hepatitis. Early detection, prevention, and treatment of complications due to chronic HCV infection may improve the outcomes of kidney transplant recipients with chronic HCV infection.
Background. Pegylated interferon, ribavirin, and telaprevir triple therapy is a new strategy expected to eradicate the hepatitis C virus (HCV) even in patients infected with difficult-to-treat genotype 1 strains, although adverse effects, such as anemia and rash, are frequent.
Methods. We assessed efficacy and predictive factors for sustained virological response (SVR) for triple therapy in 94 Japanese patients with HCV genotype 1. We included recently identified predictive factors, such as IL28B and ITPA polymorphism, and substitutions in the HCV core and NS5A proteins.
Results. Patients treated with triple therapy achieved comparatively high SVR rates (73%), especially among treatment-naive patients (80%). Of note, however, patients who experienced relapse during prior pegylated interferon plus ribavirin combination therapy were highly likely to achieve SVR while receiving triple therapy (93%); conversely, prior nonresponders were much less likely to respond to triple therapy (32%). In addition to prior treatment response, IL28B SNP genotype and rapid viral response were significant independent predictors for SVR. Patients with the anemia-susceptible ITPA SNP rs1127354 genotype typically required ribavirin dose reduction earlier than did patients with other genotypes.
Conclusions. Analysis of predictive factors identified IL28B SNP, rapid viral response, and transient response to previous therapy as significant independent predictors of SVR after triple therapy.
Combination therapy with peginterferon (pegIFN)-α and ribavirin (RBV) has been the standard of care (SOC) for chronic hepatitis C. Unfortunately, not all patients can achieve a sustained virologic response (SVR) with this regimen. SVR rates are approximately 80% in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 2, 3, 5 and 6 and 40%-50% in patients with genotype 1 and 4. Therefore, strategies to improve SVR rates have been an important issue for clinical physicians. Several direct acting antiviral agents (DAAs) have significantly higher SVR rates when combined with pegIFN-α and RBV than pegIFN-α and RBV alone. Treatments containing DAAs have several advantages over the previous SOC, including higher specificity and efficacy, shorter treatment durations, fewer side effects, and oral administration. Based on these advantages, treatment with pegIFN-α and RBV plus telaprevir or boceprevir has become the current SOC for patients with genotype 1 HCV infection. However, many patients are either not eligible for therapy or decline treatment due to coexisting relative or absolute contraindications as well as an inability to tolerate the hematological side effects and adverse events caused by the new SOC. These factors have contributed to the advent of pegIFN-α-free regimens. The newest therapeutic regimens containing sofosbuvir and ABT-450 have shown promising results. In this review, we summarize the development of anti-HCV agents and the clinical efficacy of sofosbuvir and ABT-450-based therapies as well as the potential for future HCV studies.
Sofosbuvir; ABT-450; Hepatitis C virus; Antiviral therapy; Sustained virologic response
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a member of Flaviviridae family and one of the major causes of liver disease. There are about 175 million HCV infected patients worldwide that constitute 3% of world's population. The main route of HCV transmission is parental however 90% intravenous drug users are at highest risk. Standard interferon and ribavirin remained a gold standard of chronic HCV treatment having 38-43% sustained virological response rates. Currently the standard therapy for HCV is pegylated interferon (PEG-INF) with ribavirin. This therapy achieves 50% sustained virological response (SVR) for genotype 1 and 80% for genotype 2 & 3. As pegylated interferon is expensive, standard interferon is still the main therapy for HCV treatment in under developed countries. On the other hand, studies showed that pegylated IFN and RBV therapy has severe side effects like hematological complications. Herbal medicines (laccase, proanthocyandin, Rhodiola kirilowii) are also being in use as a natural and alternative way for treatment of HCV but there is not a single significant report documented yet. Best SVR indicators are genotype 3 and 2, < 0.2 million IU/mL pretreatment viral load, rapid virological response (RVR) rate and age <40 years. New therapeutic approaches are under study like interferon related systems, modified forms of ribavirin, internal ribosome entry site (HCV IRES) inhibitors, NS3 and NS5a inhibitors, novel immunomodulators and specifically targeted anti-viral therapy for hepatitis C compounds. More remedial therapies include caspase inhibitors, anti-fibrotic agents, antibody treatment and vaccines.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease develops in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Interferon and ribavirin combination therapy is the standard treatment for chronic hepatitis C, but if present, NAFLD can reduce the virological response to anti-HCV therapies.
We determined whether the addition of rosuvastatin to interferon and ribavirin improves the sustained virological response (SVR) and reduces steatosis.
Patients and Methods
This study was a prospective, randomized, open-label trial. Between January 2004 and December 2007, 65 patients with chronic hepatitis (27 women and 38 men, mean age 48 years) aged 32-63 years (median 46 years) were consecutively enrolled. Patients were randomly assigned to receive leukocyte interferon alpha (3 MIU 3 times per week) plus ribavirin (1200 mg per day) for 12 months or interferon alpha and ribavirin at the same dosages plus rosuvastatin (5 mg per day). The primary endpoints were measurements in SVR, liver enzyme, cholesterol, triglyceride, CRP, glucose, and insulin levels; and Homa-IR, fibrosis, and steatosis scores.
After 12 months of treatment, we observed a significant improvement in SVR in 51% of patients who received interferon plus ribavirin plus rosuvastatin compared with 18% of relapsers (OR 1.52; 95% CI = 0.41-5.64; RR 1.13). There were 23 responders (69%) and 10 nonresponders (30%) (OR 1.38; 95% CI = 0.49-16.5; RR 1.11). When comparing interferon plus ribavirin group vs interferon plus ribavirin and rosuvastatin group after 12 months, we observed a significant difference in AST (85.70 vs.106.5.00 IU/ml) (OR 1.2; 95% CI= 0.29-4.94; RR 1.04; p<0.001), ALT (81.80 vs. 126.2 IU/ml) (OR 1.2; 95% CI = 0.29-4.94; RR 1.04; p < 0.001), LDL-cholesterol (0.01 vs. 0.60 mmol/l) (OR 14; 95% CI = 3.98-49.16; p RR 2.96; < 0.001), triglycerides (0.17 vs. 0.2 mmol/l) (OR 20; 95% CI = 4.94-80.89; RR 5.38; p < 0.05), and Viremia (1.8 vs. 2.48 UI/ml, p < 0.05). Mean fibrosis score decreased 0.10 vs. 0.50 (OR 4.5; 95% CI = 0.89-22.66; RR 1.5; p < 0.05), and mean steatosis score declined 0.30 vs. 0.50 (OR 11.2; CI = 2.88-43.53; RR 2.75; p < 0.001).
In HCV patients with NAFLD, the addition of rosuvastatin to interferon and ribavirin significantly reduces viremia, steatosis, and fibrosis without causing side effects.
NAFLD; Ribavirin; Interferon; Hepatitis
The development and evaluation of antiviral agents through carefully designed clinical trials over the last 25 years have heralded a new dawn in the treatment of patients chronically infected with the hepatitis B and C viruses, but not so for the D virus (HBV, HCV, and HDV). The introduction of direct acting antivirals (DDAs) for the treatment of HBV carriers has permitted the long-term use of these compounds for the continuous suppression of viral replication, whilst in the case of HCV in combination with the standard of care [SOC, pegylated interferon (PegIFN), and ribavirin] sustained virological responses (SVRs) have been achieved with increasing frequency. Progress in the case of HDV has been slow and lacking in significant breakthroughs.This paper aims to summarise the current state of play in treatment approaches for chonic viral hepatitis patients and future perspectives.
AIM: To conduct a multicentre retrospective review of virological response rates in Asians infected with genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C (CHC) treated with combination interferon and ribavirin and then to compare their responses to that among Caucasians.
METHODS: Asian patients infected with genotype 1 CHC treated at 4 Australian centres between 2001 to 2005 were identified through hospital databases. Baseline demographic characteristics, biochemical, virological and histological data and details of treatment were collected. Sustained virological responses (SVR) in this cohort were then compared to that in Caucasian subjects, matched by genotype, age, gender and the stage of hepatic fibrosis.
RESULTS: A total of 108 Asians with genotype 1 CHC were identified. The end of treatment response (ETR) for the cohort was 79% while the SVR was 67%. Due to the relatively advanced age of the Asian cohort, only sixty-four subjects could be matched with Caucasians. The ETR among matched Asians and Caucasians was 81% and 56% respectively (P = 0.003), while the SVR rates were 73% and 36% (P < 0.001) respectively. This difference remained significant after adjusting for other predictive variables.
CONCLUSION: Genotype 1 CHC in Asian subjects is associated with higher rates of virological response compared to that in Caucasians.
Hepatitis C; Treatment; Asians; Retro-spective studies; Comparative study; Interferon; Ribavirin; Statistical data analysis