A randomised study of peginterferon and ribavirin for 16 versus 24 weeks in patients with genotype 2 chronic hepatitis C
ABSTRACT The recommended treatment for patients infected with hepatitis C virus genotype 2 (HCV2) is pegylated interferon (peginterferon) and ribavirin for 24 weeks.
To assess whether a shorter 16-week treatment is as effective as a standard 24-week treatment.
Patients with HCV2 infection were randomised in a 1:2 ratio to either 16 weeks (n = 50) or 24 weeks (n = 100) of treatment with peginterferon alpha-2a (180 mug/week) and weight-based ribavirin 1000-1200 mg/day, with a 24-week follow-up period. A rapid virological response (RVR) was defined as seronegative for HCV RNA at 4 weeks of treatment, and the primary end point, sustained virological response (SVR), as seronegative for HCV RNA at the 24-week follow-up.
The rate of RVR and SVR was 86% (43/50, 95% confidence interval (CI) 76% to 96%) and 94% (47/50, CI 87% to 100%), respectively, in the 16-week group, which was comparable to 87% (87/100, CI 80% to 94%) and 95% (95/100, CI 91% to 99%) in the 24-week group. Patients with RVR had a significantly higher SVR rate than patients without RVR in both 16-week (100% vs 57%, p = 0.015) and 24-week groups (98% vs 77%, p = 0.002). Multivariate analysis showed that RVR and age were independent factors associated with SVR. Both treatment arms were equally well tolerated. The incidence of alopecia was significantly higher in the 24-week group (49%) than in the 16-week group (20%, p = 0.001).
16 weeks and 24 weeks of peginterferon treatment with weight-based ribavirin at a dose of 1000-1200 mg/day provided equal efficacy in patients with HCV2 who achieved RVR at 4 weeks.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Ming-Lung Yu, May 28, 2015
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ABSTRACT: The seroprevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among Canadians is estimated at 0.3% to 0.9%. Of those with chronic HCV infection, 10% to 20% will experience advanced liver disease by 30 years of infection. Targeted screening seems a plausible strategy. We aimed to estimate the health and economic effects of various screening and treatment strategies for chronic HCV infection in Canada. We used a state-transition model to examine the cost-effectiveness of 4 screening strategies: no screening; screen and treat with pegylated interferon plus ribavarin; screen and treat with pegylated interferon and ribavarin- based direct-acting antiviral agents; and screen and treat with interferon-free direct-acting antivirals. We considered Canadian residents in 2 age groups: 25-64 and 45-64 years of age. We obtained model data from the literature. We predicted deaths related to chronic HCV infection, costs, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios. We found that screening and treating would prevent at least 9 HCV-related deaths per 10 000 persons screened over the lifetimeof the cohort. Screening was associated with QALY increases of 0.0032 to 0.0095 and cost increases of $124 to $338 per person, which translated to an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $34 359 to $44 034 per QALY gained, relative to no screening, depending on age group screened and antiviral therapy received. A selective one-time HCV screening program for people 25-64 or 45-64 years of age in Canada would likely be cost-effective. Identification of silent cases of chronic HCV infection and the offer of treatment when appropriate could extend the lives of Canadians at reasonable cost. © 8872147 Canada Inc.Canadian Medical Association Journal 01/2015; 187(3). DOI:10.1503/cmaj.140711 · 5.81 Impact Factor