A randomized, prospective trial of ribavirin 400 mg/day versus 800 mg/day in combination with Peginterferon alfa-2a in HCV Genotypes and 3

Department of Internal Medicine III, Medical University, Vienna, Austria.
Hepatology (Impact Factor: 11.06). 06/2008; 47(6):1816-23. DOI: 10.1002/hep.22262
Source: PubMed


We compared the efficacy and tolerability of 24 weeks of treatment with ribavirin 800 mg/day (group A) or 400 mg/day (group B) plus peginterferon alfa-2a 180 mug/week in treatment-naive patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 2 or 3. A total of 97 of 141 patients randomized to group A (68.8%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 60.5%-76.3%) and 90 of 141 patients randomized to group B (63.8; 95% CI 55.3%-71.7%) achieved a sustained virological response, defined as undetectable serum HCV RNA at the end of untreated follow-up (week 48). Among patients infected with genotype 3, the rate of sustained virological response was 67.5% (95% CI 58.4%-75.6%) in group A and 63.9% (95% CI 54.7%-72.4%) in group B, and among patients infected with genotype 2, the rate of sustained virological response was 77.8% (95% CI 54.2%-93.6%) in group A and 55.6% (95% CI 38.4%-83.7%) in group B. Relapse rates in the 2 treatment groups were similar (17% in group A and 20% in group B). The incidence of adverse events, laboratory abnormalities, and dose reductions was similar in the 2 treatment groups. CONCLUSION: The results suggest that when administered for 24 weeks with peginterferon alfa-2a, ribavirin doses of 400 and 800 mg/day produce equivalent outcomes in patients infected with HCV genotype 3.

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Available from: Andreas Maieron, Oct 06, 2014
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    • "SVR rates after 14 weeks of treatment were achieved more frequently among subtype 3a patients with low viral load and absence of bridging fibrosis/cirrhosis. A further study compared reduced doses of RBV (400 and 800 mg/day) for 24 weeks with equivalent outcomes in patients infected with HCV-G3 [13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The standard treatment regimen for chronic HCV genotype 3 (HCV-G3) hepatitis consists of PEGylated interferon-α (IFN-α) and ribavirin at varying doses ranging from 400 to 1,200 mg and results in response rates of 80%. However, this therapy has substantial side-effects including anemia, is teratogenic, and costly. To reduce the side-effects of therapy, the role of monotherapy consisting of only IFN-α was investigated. A retrospective analysis of individual therapy courses of HCV-G3-infected patients who were treated with IFN-α(2a) monotherapy or a combination therapy with attention to the treatment outcome and the presence of IL28B rs12979860 and IL28B rs8099917 single-nucleotide polymorphism genotypes was performed. Conventional prognostic features in each case were assessed as well. In the study, 15/30 (50%) of patients treated with IFN-α(2a) monotherapy and 32/36 (89%) treated with combination therapy achieved a sustained virological response (SVR). In addition, 7/11 (64%) of those treated initially with monotherapy and subsequently with combination therapy achieved an SVR. An "ultra-rapid" virological response occurring within 2 weeks of initiation of therapy (p = 0.005), young age (<40; p < 0.001) and low initial γ-GT/ALT-ratio (p = 0.03) were associated with a SVR to IFN-α(2a) monotherapy. An SVR in those treated with combination therapy was found to be associated with a rapid virological response (RVR) (p = 0.03). The absence of histologic steatosis was associated with SVR in all patient groups (p = 0.01). Therapy duration (24 vs. 48 weeks) did not affect the SVR in either group. As expected, combination therapy resulted in more hematological side-effects than did monotherapy. An "ultra-rapid" virological response, young age, low initial γ-GT/ALT-ratio and absence of steatosis were each associated with an SVR in those receiving IFN-α(2a) monotherapy. Therefore, monotherapy in these patients should still be discussed independently of the existence of the IL28B polymorphisms.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · Digestive Diseases and Sciences
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    • "While reducing RBV dose in patients treated for 24 weeks did not affect the efficacy of treatment [11], the results of this follow up study indicate that shortened treatment duration with a reduced RBV dosage is associated with lower SVR rates mostly due to high relapse rates. The results support also the findings of Shiffman [13] that shortened treatment duration leads to inferior results. "
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic hepatitis C (CHC) Patients, infected with genotype (GT) 2 or 3 are treated with Peg-IFN and ribavirin (RBV) (800 mg/day) for 24 weeks. Treatment duration can be shortened to 12-16 weeks if a higher dose of RBV (1.000/1.200 mg/day) was used without considerable loss of responsiveness or increased risk of relapse. Previously we have shown that in patients with CHC, GT 2/3 RBV can be reduced to 400 mg/day if administered for 24 weeks without an increase in relapse rates. Therefore we investigated the efficacy of a reduced RBV dosage of 400 mg/day with shorter treatment duration (16 weeks). Treatment naïve patients with CHC, GT 2/3 were randomized to receive 180 μg peginterferonα2a/week in combination with either 800 (group C) or 400 mg/d (group D) for 16 weeks. The primary endpoint was SVR. 12 months after the first patient was randomized a inferior outcome of group D as compared to group C was noted, therefore the study was terminated. At study termination 89 patients were enrolled (group C: 31, D: 51). The SVR rate was statistically different in the two study groups with 51.6% in group C and 28.4% in group D (p = 0.038). Patients with low viral load had higher SVR rates (C: 67%, D: 33%) than those with high viral load (C: 33%, D: 21%). Both treatment duration and the dose of RBV play a major role to optimize outcome of patients with GT3. If one intends to shorten the treatment weight based RBV dose should be used, if lower RBV doses are used patients should be treated for at least 24 weeks as. A treatment regimen with a reduced RBV dosage and shortened treatment duration is associated with low SVR rates due to high relapse rates. NCT01258101.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · BMC Research Notes
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    • "However, the side effect profile and quality of life of patients who discontinued RBV tended to improve. Recently, Ferenci et al. have been investigated efficacy and tolerability of 24 weeks of treatment with RBV 800 mg/day or 400 mg/day plus PEG-IFN alpha-2a 180 µg/week in 141 treatment-naïve patients who were infected HCV genotype 2 or 3. Data suggests that 400 mg/day of RBV enough in patients infected with HCV genotype 3 to achieve as high SVR rates as those attained by the standard 800 mg/day dosing (SVR: 63.9% versus 67.5%), whereas the same results could not be replicated in patients with HCV genotype 2. In the latter patients the SVR rates following low-dose RBV were significantly lower than those attained with a standard dose of RBV (55.6% versus 77.8%) [28]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Approximately 170 million people worldwide are chronically infected by hepatitis C virus (HCV), which can result in progressive hepatic injury and fibrosis, culminating in cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease. The benchmark therapy for untreated HCV patients is a combination of pegylated interferon-alpha (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin (RBV). Several studies have suggested several potential new approaches to improve HCV therapy-optimization of the dose and duration of RBV therapy, accompanied by careful clinical management, is crucial in ensuring the greatest likelihood of a long response to therapy. RBV causes serious side effects, but in clinical practice, there are no alternatives for the treatment of HCV infection. Based on our results, weight-based doses of RBV are advantageous for genotype 1-infected patients, but its success in genotype 2- and 3-infected patients is unknown, particularly for shorter treatment durations.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2011 · Hepatitis Monthly
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