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1.  Interferon-λ3 polymorphisms in pegylated-interferon-α plus ribavirin therapy for genotype-2 chronic hepatitis C 
AIM: To evaluate interferon-λ3 (IFNL3) polymorphisms in response-guided pegylated interferon-α plus ribavirin (Peg-IFNα/RBV) therapy for genotype 2 (G2) chronic hepatitis C.
METHODS: Between January 2006 and June 2012, a total of 180 patients with chronic infections of G2 hepatitis C virus (HCV) were treated with response-guided Peg-IFNα/RBV therapy. The treatment duration was 24 wk for patients who achieved rapid virologic response (RVR), and 36 or 48 wk for patients who did not. Then, the impact of the IFNL3 single nucleotide polymorphism genotype (TT/non-TT at rs8099917) on treatment outcomes was evaluated in the 180 patients, and between patients infected with either HCV sub-genotype 2a or 2b.
RESULTS: Of the 180 patients evaluated, 111 achieved RVR, while the remaining 69 patients did not. In RVR patients, the sustained virologic response (SVR) rate was 96.4%, and the IFNL3 genotype did not influence the SVR rate (96.6% vs 95.8% in IFNL3 genotype TT vs non-TT). However, in non-RVR patients, the SVR rate decreased to 72.5% (P < 0.0001), and this rate was significantly different between the IFNL3 genotype TT and non-TT groups (80.0% vs 42.9%, P = 0.0146). Multivariate regression analysis in non-RVR patients identified the IFNL3 genotype TT as the only baseline-significant factor associated with SVR (OR = 5.39, 95%CI: 1.29-22.62; P = 0.0189). In analysis according to HCV sub-genotype, no significant difference in the SVR rate was found between HCV sub-genotypes 2a and 2b.
CONCLUSION: In response-guided Peg-IFNα/RBV combination therapy for chronically HCV G2-infected patients, the impact of the IFNL3 genotype on SVR was limited to non-RVR patients.
PMCID: PMC4385537  PMID: 25852275
Hepatitis C virus genotype 2; Interferon-λ3 single nucleotide polymorphism; Pegylated-interferon plus ribavirin response-guided therapy; Rapid virologic response; Sustained virologic response
2.  Different Interaction Profiles of Direct-Acting Anti-Hepatitis C Virus Agents with Human Organic Anion Transporting Polypeptides 
Simeprevir (SMV), asunaprevir (ASV), daclatasvir (DCV), and sofosbuvir (SFV), which are newly developed direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) against hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, are among the key components of anti-HCV regimens. Preclinical studies have identified inhibitory properties for some of these DAAs against organic anion transporting polypeptide 1B (OATP1B) functions. However, their details remain mostly uncharacterized. Because OATP1B1 and OATP1B3 play determinant roles in the pharmacokinetics of various drugs via their uptake into human hepatocytes, it is plausible that the inhibition of these OATP1Bs by a DAA would create a potential risk of drug-drug interaction, which has been an emerging concern in anti-HCV therapy. Accordingly, in the present study, we intended to clarify the inhibitory characteristics of newly developed DAAs toward OATP1B1 and -1B3 functions. The results of our coincubation inhibition assays have shown that all tested DAAs could inhibit OATP1B1 functions and that SMV, ASV, and DCV (to a lesser extent), but not SFV, exhibited long-lasting preincubation inhibitory effects on OATP1B1 functions. It was also found that the preincubation inhibitory effects of SMV and ASV could augment their coincubation inhibition potency. Furthermore, significant, but differential, inhibitory effects of the DAAs on the OATP1B3 function were identified. To summarize, our results clearly show that the newly developed DAAs are newly identified OATP1B1 and OATP1B3 inhibitors with distinctive interaction properties. It is believed that these inhibition profiles will provide essential information to all concerned parties with respect to the clinical significance of DAA-mediated inhibition of OATP1Bs in anti-HCV therapy.
PMCID: PMC4135986  PMID: 24867984
3.  Predictors of Response to 24-Week Telaprevir-Based Triple Therapy for Treatment-Naïve Genotype 1b Chronic Hepatitis C Patients 
We evaluated the genetic variation in rs8099917, substitutions in core amino acid (aa) 70, and the number of aa substitutions in the interferon sensitivity-determining region (ISDR) on the prediction of sustained virological response (SVR) in treatment-naïve hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1b (G1b) patients. This multicenter study involved 150 Asian treatment-naïve patients infected with HCV G1b who received 12 weeks of telaprevir in combination with 24 weeks of peginterferon-α-2b and ribavirin. The baseline and treatment-related factors potentially associated with SVR were determined by multivariate logistic regression analysis. Virological response was analyzed on an intent-to-treat basis. Cessation of the therapy due to adverse effects occurred in only 2 patients, who discontinued the trial at 10 weeks and at 2 weeks due to cerebral infarction and renal impairment, respectively. Among the 150 patients in whom the final virological response was determined, only genotype TT in rs8099917 was identified as a pretreatment predictor (P = 7.38 × 10−4). Achievement of a rapid virological response (RVR), defined as undetectable HCV RNA at week 4 of treatment, was identified as an after-starting-treatment predictor (P = 2.47 × 10−5). However, neither a substitution in core aa 70 nor the number of substitutions in the ISDR affected treatment outcome.
PMCID: PMC4150495  PMID: 25197269
4.  Involvement of MAP3K8 and miR-17-5p in Poor Virologic Response to Interferon-Based Combination Therapy for Chronic Hepatitis C 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e97078.
Despite advances in chronic hepatitis C treatment, a proportion of patients respond poorly to treatment. This study aimed to explore hepatic mRNA and microRNA signatures involved in hepatitis C treatment resistance. Global hepatic mRNA and microRNA expression profiles were compared using microarray data between treatment responses. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction validated the gene signatures from 130 patients who were infected with hepatitis C virus genotype 1b and treated with pegylated interferon-alpha and ribavirin combination therapy. The correlation between mRNA and microRNA was evaluated using in silico analysis and in vitro siRNA and microRNA inhibition/overexpression experiments. Multivariate regression analysis identified that the independent variables IL28B SNP rs8099917, hsa-miR-122-5p, hsa-miR-17-5p, and MAP3K8 were significantly associated with a poor virologic response. MAP3K8 and miR-17-5p expression were inversely correlated with treatment response. Furthermore, miR-17-5p repressed HCV production by targeting MAP3K8. Collectively, the data suggest that several molecules and the inverse correlation between mRNA and microRNA contributed to a host genetic refractory hepatitis C treatment response.
PMCID: PMC4018277  PMID: 24819603
5.  Efficacy of Alfacalcidol on PEG-IFN/ Ribavirin Combination Therapy for Elderly Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C: A Pilot Study 
Hepatitis Monthly  2013;13(12):e14872.
Serum vitamin D concentration is reported to show a decrease in older age. Patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) in Japan are older on average than those in Western countries. Moreover, the outcome of pegylated-interferon (PEG-IFN)/ ribavirin therapy combined with vitamin D in elderly patients is unclear.
This pilot study explored the efficacy and safety of alfacalcidol as vitamin D source in PEG-IFN/ ribavirin combination therapy for elderly CHC patients infected with hepatitis C virus genotype 1b.
Patients and Methods
Consecutive twenty CHC patients aged ≥ 65 years were enrolled in this pilot study. Fifteen patients met the inclusion criteria and received PEG-IFN/ ribavirin therapy combined with alfacalcidol. Four-week lead-in of oral alfacalcidol was conducted, and it was subsequently and concurrently administered in PEG-IFN/ ribavirin combination therapy (vitamin D group). Age, gender, and IL28B genotype-matched patients, who received PEG-IFN/ ribavirin alone, were saved as control group (n = 15) to compare the treatment outcome with the vitamin D group.
Subjects consisted of 14 males and 16 females, with a median age of 70 years (65-78). The serum 25 (OH) D3 concentration in females (20 ng/ml, 11-37) was significantly lower than males (27 ng/mL, 13-49) (P = 0.004). Sustained virological response (SVR) rates were 33.3% (5/15) in the control group and 80.0% (12/15) in the vitamin D group, respectively (P = 0.025). While no significant difference was shown in the (SVR) rate between the two groups among males (P = 0.592), in females the SVR rate was significantly higher in the vitamin D group (87.5%, 7/8) than the control group (25.0%, 2/8) (P = 0.041). The relapse rates in the groups with and without alfacalcidol were 7.7% (1/13) and 61.5% (8/13), respectively (P = 0.011). Interestingly, in females, the relapse in the control group was shown in 5 of 7 (71.4%), whereas in the vitamin D group the relapse rate was decreased (1/8, 12.5%) (P = 0.041). No specific adverse events were observed in the vitamin D group.
PEG-IFN/ ribavirin combined with alfacalcidol may be effective and safe in elderly CHC patients. In particular, concomitant administration of alfacalcidol may lead to a reduced relapse rate, and consequently improving the SVR rate in elderly females.
PMCID: PMC3877658  PMID: 24403915
1-hydroxycholecalciferol; Vitamin D; Ribavirin; Aged; Hepatitis C, Chronic
6.  Serum Lipoprotein Profiles and Response to Pegylated Interferon Plus Ribavirin Combination Therapy in Patients With Chronic HCV Genotype 1b Infection 
Hepatitis Monthly  2013;13(5):e8988.
Abnormal serum lipid profiles have been noted in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Moreover, many reports suggest that serum lipoprotein profiles are more profoundly distorted in patients with HCV G1b infection who have an unfavorable response to pegylated interferon (peg-IFN) plus ribavirin (RBV) combination therapy. However, after the discovery of single nucleotide polymorphisms near the IL28B gene (rs8099917 and rs12979860) as potent predictive factors affecting the response to peg-IFN plus RBV, lipid factors are thought to be confounding factors.
To re-examine the significance of lipoprotein profiles on virological response to peg-IFN plus RBV combination therapy in patients with chronic HCV G1b infection, we examined cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations in each lipoprotein fraction separated by high performance liquid chromatography.
Patients and Methods
Lipoprotein profiles were examined using fasting sera from 108 patients infected with HCV G1b who had chronic hepatitis, as determined by liver biopsy. Results of lipoprotein profiles and clinical data, including IL28B genotype and amino acid substitution at aa70 of HCV G1b, were compared between patients with a sustained virological response (SVR) and non-SVR or a non-virological response (NVR) and virological responses other than NVR (non-NVR). In addition, significant predictive factors independently associated with virological response to peg-IFNα-2b plus RBV were determined by logistic regression analysis.
An increased ratio of cholesterol/triglyceride in very low-density lipoprotein (odds ratio (OR) 3.03; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01-9.44) along with a major genotype of rs8099917 (OR 9.09; 95% CI 2.94-33.33), were independent predictive factors for SVR. In contrast, lipid factors were not elucidated as independent predictive factors for NVR.
Examination of the fasting lipid profile has clinical importance in predicting the efficacy of peg-IFN-α-2b plus RBV combination therapy for patients with HCV G1b even after the discovery of the IL28 genotype as a potent predictive factor.
PMCID: PMC3743300  PMID: 23967025
Hepatitis C; Ribavirin; Lipoproteins; Lipoproteins VLDL; Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
7.  Platelet count and sustained virological response in hepatitis C treatment 
World Journal of Hepatology  2013;5(4):182-188.
AIM: To examine the epidemiological data, hematological safety and treatment responses of peginterferon-alpha 2a plus ribavirin therapy for hepatitis C.
METHODS: Between March 2008 and February 2011, 196 hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 infected Japanese (127 treatment-naive and 69 treatment-experienced patients) patients treated with peginterferon-alpha 2a plus ribavirin were enrolled. We examined the epidemiological data and treatment responses were retrospectively analyzed in terms of hematological safety. HCV RNA was measured by the COBAS TaqMan HCV test.
RESULTS: Overall sustained virological response (SVR) rates of treatment-naive and treatment-experienced patients were 56% and 39%, respectively. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that SVR was attained independently of early virological response in both treatment-naive and treatment-experienced patients. SVR rates did not differ between the pretreatment hemoglobin < 13 g/dL and ≥ 13 g/dL groups. However, in treatment-naive patients, the SVR rate of the pretreatment platelet count < 130000/µL group was significantly lower than that of the pretreatment platelet count ≥ 130000/µL group.
CONCLUSION: Attention should be paid to potential thrombocytopenia in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C patients.
PMCID: PMC3648649  PMID: 23671722
Anemia; Antiviral treatment; Chronic hepatitis C; Platelet count; Sustained virological response
8.  Peginterferon Alfa-2a plus Ribavirin in Japanese Patients Infected with Hepatitis C Virus Genotype 2 Who Failed Previous Interferon Therapy 
Some patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 2 could be cured with treatment shorter than 24 weeks using peginterferon plus ribavirin, but there are still treatment-refractory patients. Direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) are not currently available for HCV genotype 2 patients, different from genotype 1 patients, in clinical practice. We investigated 29 HCV genotype 2-infected Japanese patients who had been previously treated and failed to clear HCV. We retreated them with peginterferon alfa-2a plus ribavirin and measured HCV RNA level to assess the efficacy and safety of this treatment in patients who had failed previous therapy. We found that retreatment of HCV genotype 2-infected Japanese patients with peginterferon alfa-2a plus ribavirin for 24-48 weeks led to 60 to 66.6% sustained virological response (SVR) in patients previously treated with (peg-)interferon monotherapy and to 69.9% SVR in relapsers previously treated with peginterferon plus ribavirin. Attention should be paid to certain patients with unique features. Selection of patients according to their previous treatment could lead to optimal therapy in HCV genotype 2 treatment-experienced patients.
PMCID: PMC3534876  PMID: 23289004
Retreatment; HCV G2; Japanese
9.  Several factors including ITPA polymorphism influence ribavirin-induced anemia in chronic hepatitis C 
AIM: To construct formulae for predicting the likelihood of ribavirin-induced anemia in pegylated interferon α plus ribavirin for chronic hepatitis C.
METHODS: Five hundred and sixty-one Japanese patients with hepatitis C virus genotype 1b who had received combination treatment were enrolled and assigned randomly to the derivation and confirmatory groups. Single nucleotide polymorphisms at or nearby ITPA were genotyped by real-time detection polymerase chain reaction. Factors influencing significant anemia (hemoglobin concentration < 10.0 g/dL at week 4 of treatment) and significant hemoglobin decline (declining concentrations > 3.0 g/dL at week 4) were analyzed using multiple regression analyses. Prediction formulae were constructed by significantly independent factors.
RESULTS: Multivariate analysis for the derivation group identified four independent factors associated with significant hemoglobin decline: hemoglobin decline at week 2 [P = 3.29 × 10-17, odds ratio (OR) = 7.54 (g/dL)], estimated glomerular filtration rate [P = 2.16 × 10-4, OR = 0.962 (mL/min/1.73 m2)], rs1127354 (P = 5.75 × 10-4, OR = 10.94) and baseline hemoglobin [P = 7.86 × 10-4, OR = 1.50 (g/dL)]. Using the model constructed by these factors, positive and negative predictive values and predictive accuracy were 79.8%, 88.8% and 86.2%, respectively. For the confirmatory group, they were 83.3%, 91.0% and 88.3%. These factors were closely correlated with significant anemia. However, the model could not be constructed, because no patients with rs1127354 minor genotype CA/AA had significant anemia.
CONCLUSION: Reliable formulae for predicting the likelihood of ribavirin-induced anemia were constructed. Such modeling may be useful in developing individual tailoring and optimization of ribavirin dosage.
PMCID: PMC3491594  PMID: 23139603
Chronic hepatitis C virus infection; Ribavirin; Pegylated interferon α; Prediction model; Hemolytic anemia; Single nucleotide polymorphism
10.  ENT1, a Ribavirin Transporter, Plays a Pivotal Role in Antiviral Efficacy of Ribavirin in a Hepatitis C Virus Replication Cell System 
We previously showed that equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 (ENT1) is a primary ribavirin transporter in human hepatocytes. However, because the role of this transporter in the antiviral mechanism of the drug remains unclear, the present study aimed to elucidate the role of ENT1 in ribavirin antiviral action. OR6 cells, a hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication system, were used to evaluate both ribavirin uptake and efficacy. The ribavirin transporter in OR6 cells was identified by mRNA expression analyses and transport assays. Nitrobenzylmercaptopurine riboside (NBMPR) and micro-RNA targeted to ENT1 mRNA (miR-ENT1) were used to reduce the ribavirin uptake level in OR6 cells. Our results showed that ribavirin antiviral activity was associated with its accumulation in OR6 cells, which was also closely associated with the uptake of the drug. It was found that the primary ribavirin transporter in OR6 cells was ENT1 and that inhibition of ENT1-mediated ribavirin uptake by NBMPR significantly attenuated the antiviral activity of the drug as well as its accumulation in OR6 cells. The results also showed that even a small reduction in the ENT1-mediated ribavirin uptake, achieved in this case using miR-ENT1, caused a significant decrease in its antiviral activity, thus indicating that the ENT1-mediated ribavirin uptake level determined its antiviral activity level in OR6 cells. In conclusion, our results show that by facilitating its uptake and accumulation in OR6 cells, ENT1 plays a pivotal role in the antiviral effectiveness of ribavirin and therefore provides an important insight into the efficacy of the drug in anti-HCV therapy.
PMCID: PMC3294941  PMID: 22232287
11.  A mutation of the start codon in the X region of hepatitis B virus DNA in a patient with non-B, non-C chronic hepatitis 
World Journal of Hepatology  2011;3(2):56-60.
There are cases of hepatitis involving occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in which, even though the HB surface antigen (HBsAg) is negative, HBV-DNA is detected by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR). We conducted a sequence analysis of the entire HBV region in a case of non-B non-C chronic hepatitis in a 46-year-old female. A diagnosis of non-B non-C chronic hepatitis was made. Although HBV markers, such as HBs antibody (anti-HBs), anti-HBc, HBeAg and anti-HBe, were negative, HBV-DNA was positive. Nested PCR was performed to amplify the precore region of HBV-DNA and all remaining regions by long nested PCR. Sequence analysis of the two obtained bands was conducted by direct sequencing. Compared with the control strains, the ATG (Methionine) start codon in the X region had mutated to GTG (Valine). It is assumed that a mutation at the start codon in the X region may be the reason why HBV markers are negative in some cases of hepatitis that involve occult HBV infection.
PMCID: PMC3060996  PMID: 21423595
Hepatitis B virus; X region; Mutation; Non-B non-C chronic hepatitis; Occult infection
12.  Peginterferon and ribavirin treatment for hepatitis C virus infection 
Pegylated interferon α (IFNα) in combination with ribavirin is currently recommended as a standard-of-care treatment for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. This combination therapy has drastically improved the rate of sustained virological response, specifically in difficult-to-treat patients. Recently, individualized treatment, such as response-guided therapy, is being developed based on host-, HCV- and treatment-related factors. Furthermore, modified regimens with currently available medications, novel modified IFNα and ribavirin or combinations with specifically targeted antiviral therapy for HCV agents, are currently being investigated. The purpose of this review is to address some issues and epoch-making topics in the treatment of chronic HCV infection, and to discuss more optimal and highly individualized therapeutic strategies for HCV-infected patients.
PMCID: PMC3027008  PMID: 21274371
Pegylated interferon α; Ribavirin; Chronic hepatitis C virus infection; Difficult-to-treat patient; Individualized treatment; Response-guided therapy; Specifically targeted antiviral therapy for hepatitis C virus
13.  Four-week pegylated interferon α-2a monotherapy for chronic hepatitis C with genotype 2 and low viral load: A pilot, randomized study 
AIM: To assess the efficacy and advantages of 4-wk pegylated interferon α-2a (peg-IFN-α2a) monotherapy for chronic hepatitis C patients with strong predictors of sustained virologic response (SVR).
METHODS: Patients (n = 33) with genotype 2 and low viral load (< 100 KIU/mL), who became HCV RNA negative after 1 wk of IFN treatment, were randomly allocated to receive a 4- or 12-wk treatment course at a ratio of 2:1, respectively, with a subsequent 24-wk follow-up period. Peg-IFN-α2a was administered subcutaneously at a dose of 180 μg or 90 μg once weekly. SVR was defined as absence of serum HCV RNA at the end of the follow-up period.
RESULTS: All patients completed the treatment schedule, and more than half were symptom-free during the treatment. In the 4-wk treatment group, 20 of 22 (91%) patients achieved SVR. Two patients relapsed, but achieved SVR following re-treatment with peg-IFN-α2a alone. In the 12-wk treatment group, 11 of 11 (100%) patients attained SVR.
CONCLUSION: Our results show that a 4-wk course of peg-IFN-α2a monotherapy can achieve a high SVR rate in “IFN-sensitive” patients, without negatively affecting outcome.
PMCID: PMC2776880  PMID: 19084937
Chronic hepatitis C; Pegylated interferon alpha-2a monotherapy; Genotype 2; Low viral load; Randomized pilot study
14.  Early apoptosis and cell death induced by ATX-S10Na (II)-mediated photodynamic therapy are Bax- and p53-dependent in human colon cancer cells 
AIM: To investigate the roles of Bax and p53 proteins in photosensitivity of human colon cancer cells by using lysosome-localizing photosensitizer, ATX-S10Na (II).
METHODS: HCT116 human colon cancer cells and Bax-null or p53-null isogenic derivatives were irradiated with a diode laser. Early apoptosis and cell death in response to photodynamic therapy were determined by MTT assays, annexin V assays, transmission electron microscopy assays, caspase assays and western blotting.
RESULTS: Induction of early apoptosis and cell death was Bax- and p53-dependent. Bax and p53 were required for caspase-dependent apoptosis. The levels of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins, Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL, were decreased in Bax- and p53-independent manner.
CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that early apoptosis and cell death of human colon cancer cells induced by photodynamic therapy with lysosome-localizing photosensitizer ATX-S10Na (II) are mediated by p53-Bax network and low levels of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL proteins. Our results might help in formulating new therapeutic approaches in photodynamic therapy.
PMCID: PMC4066001  PMID: 17278191
Photodynamic therapy; ATX-S10Na (II); Apoptosis; Bax; p53
15.  Pharmacokinetics of ribavirin in combined interferon-alpha 2b and ribavirin therapy for chronic hepatitis C virus infection 
The aim of this study was to clarify the pharmacokinetics of ribavirin and interferon-alpha (IFN-α) 2b when administered in combination for 24 weeks and effects of pharmacokinetics of both on treatment outcome in chronic hepatitis C with genotype 1b and high viral load.
In this multicentre open study, 27 patients received 2-week daily induction therapy followed by 22-week, three-times-a-week maintenance therapy of intramuscular IFN-α 2b at a dose of 6 million units and oral ribavirin at 400 mg twice daily for 24 weeks, and followed up for 24 weeks post-treatment. Single- and multiple-dose pharmacokinetic studies were assessed by serial measurements of serum concentrations of both compounds at weeks 1 and 24.
Five patients attained sustained virological response. Serum ribavirin concentrations asymptoted after 4–8 weeks of treatment in all patients. The steady-state concentration correlated significantly with serum ribavirin clearance after multiple dosing (r = −0.875; 95% CI −0.932, −0.721; P < 0.001). Serum concentrations at weeks 4 and 8, Cmax and AUC(0,12 h) after multiple dosing and AUC(0,28 weeks) of ribavirin were significantly higher in sustained virological responders than in virological responders or nonresponders (P < 0.05, each). Increased Cmax and accumulation index of AUC(0,12 h) (median 10.5; 95% CI 6.4, 12.4), and prolonged washout half-life after multiple dosing reflected accumulation and slow clearance of ribavirin from the tissue compartments.
Continuous exposure and accumulation of ribavirin may be necessary for sustained virological response to combination therapy in chronic hepatitis C with genotype 1b and high viral load.
PMCID: PMC1884236  PMID: 12680884
chronic hepatitis C; genotype 1b; high viral load; interferon alpha 2b; pharmacokinetics; ribavirin
16.  Pretreatment prediction of the outcome of response-guided peginterferon-α and ribavirin therapy for chronic hepatitis C 
Background and Aim
The accuracy for predicting virological outcomes of peginterferon-α and ribavirin therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C is limited to approximately 80%, even with IL28B genotyping. Our in vitro study revealed that the numbers of (TA) dinucleotide repeats [(TA)n] of rs72258881, which is located in the promoter region of IL28B gene, might regulate IL28B transcription. We aimed to evaluate the usefulness of these host factors for predicting virological outcomes of this therapy in response-guided clinical settings.
A nationwide, multi-center prospective study in Japan determined IL28B (rs8099917) genotype, (TA)n of rs72258881, and amino acid substitutions of hepatitis C virus and used these for multivariate analysis together with other parameters at pretreatment.
After enrolling 215 patients with genotype 1 and high viral load from 23 hospitals between October 2009 and February 2011, intent-to-treat analysis identified 202 patients in whom the final virological outcomes could be determined. Non-virological response by non-TT genotype was predicted with 79.7% accuracy. When combined with the (TA)n, the incidences of virological response tended to be higher in the longer (TA)n group, regardless of rs8099917 genotype. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that rs8099917 non-TT genotype (P < 0.001), shorter (TA)n (P = 0.011), mutation of amino acid 70 in the virus core region (P = 0.029), and lower levels of serum albumin (P = 0.036) were independently associated with non-virological response.
IL28B genotype and (TA)n of rs72258881 may independently affect virological outcomes of peginterferon-α and ribavirin as host factors, even in response-guided therapy.
PMCID: PMC4263356  PMID: 24910341
(TA) dinucleotide repeat; chronic hepatitis C; IL28B; response-guided therapy

Results 1-16 (16)