International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 341–349

Current therapy for hepatitis C

  • Mireen Friedrich-Rust
  • Stefan Zeuzem
  • Christoph Sarrazin
Review Article

Abstract

Introduction

Pegylated interferon alfa in combination with ribavirin has been established as standard therapy for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection with sustained virologic response rates of 54–63%. The duration of therapy depends on the HCV genotype with currently 48 weeks for genotype 1 and 24 weeks for genotypes 2 and 3.

Results and discussion

The probability of sustained virologic response is very low (<1–2%) in genotype-1-infected patients without a 2-log decline of HCV RNA concentration after 12 weeks of therapy, and treatment can therefore be discontinued early.

Conclusion

Efficient treatment of the multiple side-effects of interferon-based antiviral therapy is essential in order to improve compliance, prevent dose reduction or early discontinuation and therefore enhance the probability of sustained response. Future developments of interferon-based therapy aim at the individualisation of the duration of therapy according to the kinetics of viral reduction. Furthermore, direct antiviral drugs, which are currently under investigation in phase I/II clinical trials, will fundamentally expand the treatment options of HCV infection in the next few years.

Keywords

Chronic hepatitis C Acute hepatitis C Therapy 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mireen Friedrich-Rust
    • 1
  • Stefan Zeuzem
    • 1
  • Christoph Sarrazin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineSaarland University HospitalHomburg/SaarGermany

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