One study showed that about 35% of people who did not benefit from standard Rebetron as first line therapy achieved a virologic response (a reduction in HCV RNA levels) with the combination of peg-interferon alfa-2b (peg-Intron, developed by Schering Plough) and ribavirin after 24 weeks of therapy. Although the preliminary results are encouraging, the usefulness of this combination as second line therapy will not be known until the study is completed.
Another study showed that 61% of the participants, who had not previously received anti-HCV therapy, had a sustained virologic response after 72 weeks of the peg Intron/ribavirin study. More specifically, 48% of people with genotype 1 (the most difficult type of HCV to treat) and 88% of people with genotypes 2 or 3 had a sustained response. The dose of peg-Intron used was 1.5mcg/kg once a week in combination with at least 10.6 mg/kg of ribavirin daily. This represents a very significant improvement in therapy for almost all HCV-infected people.
Peg-Intron is approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to treat HCV when used alone, but not in combination with ribavirin. It is only modestly effective when used alone. However, the result from the second study supports the use of the combination, for which it is likely to be approved soon.
|Pegasys Alone||Rebetron||Pegasys + Ribavirin|
|Response for Genotype 1||21%||37%||46%|
Genotype 2 or 3
Further analysis of this study found that people who did not have a response by week 12 were highly unlikely to achieve undetectable HCV levels by the end of the study. Additionally, people who were over 80% adherent to their medications were significantly more likely to achieve undetectable HCV levels at study end. Side effects overall were similar between the three groups, although there appeared to be less severe flu-like symptoms and depression among people receiving Pegasys and ribavirin than those on Rebetron.
Back to the Project Inform Perspective August 2001 contents page.
The content on this page is free of advertiser influence and was produced by our editorial team. See our content and advertising policies.
|No Increased Risk of Liver Cancer After Hepatitis C Treatment With Direct-Acting Antivirals|
|This Week in HIV Research: Another Person Possibly Cured of HIV; and Long-Acting Rilpivirine Suppresses HIV in Rectal Tissue|
|This Week in HIV Research: HIV-Related Inflammation May Be Irreversible; and Genetically Engineered T-Cells Resist HIV|
|How Close Are We to a Cure for HIV? A Q&A With HIV Cure Scientific Superstars|
|Dolutegravir and the Central Nervous System: A Top HIV Clinical Development of 2016|