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Current and future treatment of hepatitis C


, : Current and future treatment of hepatitis C. Indian Journal of Gastroenterology 20 Suppl 1: C47-C51

Hepatitis C virus infection is a major health burden affecting an estimated 200 million people worldwide. Chronic hepatitis C is one of the leading causes of cirrhosis and end-stage liver cirrhosis; thus effective therapies are required. For many years interferon-alpha has been the treatment of choice for patients with chronic hepatitis C infection. However, in only 10%-15% of patients is interferon-alpha monotherapy successful, leading to sustained virological response. A combination of interferon-alpha and ribavirin significantly enhanced sustained virological response rates to 40%. Strategies to further improve response rates include modification of the interferon dosing schedule with induction dosing and daily interferon, new interferons such as consensus interferon, or interferon with longer half-life and more favorable pharmacokinetics such as pegylated interferons. Recent trials showed that a combination of pegylated interferons and ribavirin leads to sustained response rates of about 50% with an acceptable safety profile. Hopefully, new treatment modalities will be available in the near future. Helicase, protease and the RNA polymerase are potential targets to suppress HCV replication and several immunotherapeutic approaches are explored.

US$29.90

PMID: 11293180


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