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2-day results predict ultimate response to therapy in chronic hepatitis C
Date:3/20/2009

as different between African and Caucasian Americans. Most important was the new finding that these differences were statistically significant by day 2 of treatment, and that this early viral kinetic measurement was a reliable predictor of ultimate SVR rates. After 28 days of treatment, 22 percent of Caucasian Americans, but only 12 percent of African Americans, were HCV RNA negative.

These findings are particularly important because they point toward the presence of some block or defect in the immediate antiviral response of those who do not respond to therapy. As the authors summarize, "The underlying cause of virological non-response and the reasons why it is more common among African Americans than Caucasian Americans are not clear. [But] the current analyses demonstrated that these differences are fundamentally biologic and become apparent within 24 to 48 hours of starting therapy." As a next step, future research should focus on these host biologic factors that are induced by interferon in an attempt to improve therapy response rates.

In an accompanying editorial, Andrew W. Tai, MD, PhD, and Raymond T. Chung, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital agree that the findings will prove vital for future research into HCV, remarking, "[this study] demonstrates that the low rates of SVR in African American patients in response to IFN-based therapy appear to result, in large part, from impaired early viral kinetics. Further studies are necessary to uncover the relevant mechanisms that underlie this defect in IFN signaling with the hope that such mechanisms can be manipulated to restore interferon responsiveness in the otherwise nonresponsive host."


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Contact: Steve Baragona
sbaragona@idsociety.org
703-299-0412
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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