Sustained Virological Response in Special Populations with Chronic Hepatitis C Using Interferon-Free Treatments: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Observational Cohort Studies
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Background and Objectives
Hepatitis C treatment has changed considerably in recent years, and many interferon (IFN)-free therapies are now available. Considering the high rates of sustained virological response (SVR) presented by clinical trials for these treatments, high rates of effectiveness are also expected in real-world clinical practice. Hence, this study aimed to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational cohort studies to evaluate the clinical effectiveness and safety of IFN-free therapies for hepatitis C.
The search was performed in four electronic databases and included cohort studies that evaluated IFN-free schemes and provided data on SVR at 12 weeks after the end of treatment (SVR12) as the primary outcome. Overall and subgroup meta-analyses of patients’ clinical conditions (e.g. co-infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), cirrhosis, liver transplant, specific genotypes, and other conditions) were performed.
Sixty-eight studies encompassing a total of 24,151 patients were included for quantitative and qualitative analyses, evaluating six treatments: sofosbuvir with ledipasvir, daclatasvir, or simeprevir; daclatasvir with asunaprevir; paritaprevir/ritonavir in combination with ombitasvir and dasabuvir; and sofosbuvir with ribavirin. The overall analysis showed SVR rates of 88–96% for all treatments except sofosbuvir combined with ribavirin, which had SVR rates of approximately 80%. The results of subgroup analyses showed that the genotype 3 virus appears to be the most difficult to treat.
In order to choose the best treatment option, it is necessary to consider the patients’ conditions and characteristics. In conclusion, the use of IFN-free therapies meets the high expectations created by clinical trials, including patients in special clinical conditions.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
Vinicius Lins Ferreira, Letícia Paula Leonart, Fernanda Stumpf Tonin, Helena Hiemisch Lobo Borba, and Roberto Pontarolo declare no relevant conflicts of interest.
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