, Volume 51, Issue 9, pp 1619-1626
Date: 22 Aug 2006

From Trials to a Real Hospital Setting: Effectiveness of Pegylated Interferon-α-2b/Ribavirin Combination Therapy for Naïve Chronic Hepatitis C Patients

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Registration trials regarding pegylated interferon treatment of hepatitis C have created great expectations for improved results, but there is little information on actual outcomes in everyday hospital practice. We aimed to define the effectiveness of this treatment in a hospital setting. Seventy-four naïve patients with hepatitis C treated with 12 kD-pegylated-interferon-α-2-b/ribavirin (PEG-IFN) were retrospectively analyzed in comparison with 54 patients treated with IFN-α-2-b/ribavirin (STANDARD IFN) and with results of three main registration trials. Overall sustained viral response rates were 46% in the STANDARD IFN group and 54% in PEG-IFN group, ranging from 48–61% in similar arms of the registration trials considered, although more of our patients presented comorbidity and high-grade fibrosis, and our dosages at outset of PEG-IFN were lower than optimal (mean 1.18 μg/kg BW). In our hospital setting, the effectiveness of PEG-IFN/ribavirin therapy appeared similar to that reported in large registration trials.