Navigation Links
Shorter HCV treatment shows notable success

Two new randomized controlled trials show that treating Hepatitis C (HCV) with peginterferon and ribavirin for shorter durations can yield success rates similar to those from longer treatment lengths, with cost-savings and lower risk of serious side effects. Patients HCV-RNA levels after 4 weeks of treatment may be an important factor for determining the best treatment length. These findings are in the January issue of Hepatology, a journal published by John Wiley & Sons on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). The articles are also available online at Wiley Interscience at (

HCV genotype is the single most important predictor of a patients outcome after treatment with peginterferon and ribavirin. Only about half of all patients with genotype 1 will achieve a sustained viral response, compared to 70 to 90 percent of patients with genotype 2 or 3. Regardless of HCV genotype, patients who respond quickly to the drugs are also more likely to be cured by them. Based on these differences, and because the therapy is costly and carries risks of serious side effects, researchers have been exploring ways to customize treatment for each patient.

Researchers led by Alessandra Mangia of Italys Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, Casa Sollievo Della Sofferenza, in San Giovanni Rotondo conducted a randomized controlled trial of patients with HCV genotype 1. They hypothesized that variable treatment duration based on the first measurement of undetectable HCV RNA would be as effective as standard 48-week treatment. They enrolled 696 patients, 237 of whom received standard HCV. The remaining 459 were treated for 24, 48, or 72 weeks, if HCV-RNA was undetectable at 4, 8, or 12 weeks, respectively.

Nearly 49 percent of patients receiving variable treatment based on detectable viral levels achieved a sustained viral response, compared to 45 percent of patients in the standard group. A majority of patients who showed a viral response at week 4 were cured by a 24-week therapy. However, for patients who did not show a response until week 12, 72 weeks of treatment was required for an approximately similar cure rate.

In conclusion, the authors report, variable treatment duration ensures a sustained viral response rate similar to that of standard treatment duration, with potential significant reduction in cost and side effects.

Meanwhile, researchers in Norway led by Olav Dalgard conducted a randomized controlled trial of 428 patients with HCV genotype 2 or 3 to assess the success rate of 14 weeks of treatment with peginterferon plus ribavirin. Patients who achieved a viral response after 4 weeks were randomly assigned to complete either 14 or 24 total weeks of treatment.

They found that 81 percent of patients in the 14-week treatment group achieved a sustained viral response, with 86 percent still cured at 24-weeks post-treatment. Nearly 91 percent of patients in the 24-week treatment group achieved a sustained viral response, with 93 percent still cured at 24-weeks post-treatment.

We cannot formally claim that 14 weeks treatment is non-inferior to 24 weeks treatment, the authors conclude, However, the sustained viral response rate after 14 weeks treatment is high, and although longer treatment may give a slightly better sustained viral response rate, we believe considerable economical savings, good response to re-treatment and less side effects make it rational to treat patients with genotype 2 or 3 and rapid viral response for only 14 weeks.

Both studies agree that customizing treatment lengths based on the patient response to therapy could lead to very good outcomes, with fewer harmful side effects, and lower costs.


Contact: Amy Molnar

Related medicine news :

1. First in the World Live Case Using New Technology Demonstrates Shorter Procedure Time
2. Shorter Legs Might Boost Liver Risks
3. New treatment effective in counteracting cocaine-induced symptoms
4. New treatment boosts muscle function in myasthenia gravis
5. Broad-based group of physicians calls for improvement in stroke treatment
6. Cranberry Could Juice Up Ovarian Cancer Treatment
7. Non-medicinal treatment touted for pre-schoolers with ADHD
8. Nonmedicinal treatment touted for preschoolers with ADHD
9. U of M study: Early treatment can reverse heart damage
10. Biologic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and the risk of cancer
11. New Treatment Explored for Cluster Headaches
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... ... Sir Grout of Greater Boston donated an expansive, seven room tile and ... (RMHC®). This donation was made in an effort to give back to the local ... “We believe strongly in the Ronald McDonald House Charities, and they are truly a ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , ... October 13, 2015 , ... "My friend's son ... fists into his infected cheeks," said an inventor from Platteville, Colo. "I came up ... problems." , He developed the UNTOUCHABLE to prevent a child from rubbing or scratching ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... pain management services, today announced its partnership with WPC Healthcare , a ... disparate systems and organizes the data into an aggregated data repository necessary to ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... , ... According to an article published October 5th by the ... lose weight with a bariatric procedure are much less likely to develop endometrial cancer, ... anywhere from 40 to 50 percent of all endometrial cancer cases are caused by ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Altec ... their sponsorship of the Microsoft Dynamics AXUG, GPUG and NAVUG Summits to take ... and NAVUG Summit are independent user conferences designed and led by users to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... 2015   Vigilant Biosciences, Inc. ("Vigilant"), a ... the early detection and intervention of cancer, announced today ... CEO, Matthew H.J. Kim , the Weaver H. ... entrepreneur who has made extraordinary contributions to the growth ... in the leadership of a company or institution. ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... Oct. 13, 2015 WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) ... technology platform company serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and ... launched a mobile version of OncoWuXi, the first ... access oncology models and data on the go.  ... at any time to identify relevant tumor models ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , Oct. 13, 2015   Happy ... direct-to-consumer laboratory home testing kit for breast ... technologies provide an unparalleled, detailed assessment of ... milk—fats, proteins, carbs and key vitamins—all charted ... for personal health tracking.  In addition, Happy Vitals ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: