Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, One Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, NY, 10129, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since the approval of the first direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs), treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV) has undergone significant transformation. A new milestone in the treatment of HCV, the approval of the first interferon-free regimens, could be achieved by the end of 2013. For patients with HCV who have absolute or relative contraindications to pegylated-interferon or have failed the currently available treatments, the arrival of new regimens will have a major impact on long-term outcomes. The combinations of DAAs in trials are numerous, and many have demonstrated sustained virologic response rates higher than 90 %. These improvements have also been observed in previous null responders and patients who failed telaprevir- or boceprevir-based regimens. Some specific subpopulations may not be perfectly served by interferon-free regimens, such as patients with genotypes 1a or 3 or cirrhosis, whereas others, such as HIV-infected patients or transplant patients, will definitively benefit from regimens with a lower burden of side effects. This paper reviews the interferon-free regimens currently in phase II or III for which sustained virologic response data are available and discusses the successes and potential pitfalls of these regimens.