Antiviral treatment is recommended for chronic hepatitis C patients with advanced fibrosis to reduce and prevent cirrhosis-related complications.
To evaluate the efficacy and safety of telaprevir (TVR)-based triple therapy for patients with advanced fibrosis in a clinical practice setting.
This prospective, multicentre study consisted of 102 patients with advanced fibrosis (METAVIR score F3-4) who were infected with HCV genotype 1b. All received 12 weeks of TVR in combination with 24 weeks of pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) α2b and ribavirin (RBV).
The sustained virological response (SVR) rate was 69.6% (71 of 102). Notably, for treatment-naïve and prior relapse patients the SVR rate was over 80%. Previous treatment response, interleukin 28B polymorphism (rs8099917) and rapid virological response (undetectable HCV RNA at week 4) were independently associated with SVR. To achieve SVR, an adequate dosage of PEG-IFNα2b (≥1.2 μg/kg/week) and RBV (≥7.5 mg/kg/day) is preferable; however, the mean weight-adjusted TVR dosage had little impact on treatment outcome. Although severe blood cytopaenia and a dermatological disorder were frequently found, the rate of discontinuation due to adverse effects was 12.7%. The inosine triphosphatase CC allele (rs1127354) was independently associated with the development of severe anaemia, and lower serum albumin level (<35 g/L) was associated with the occurrence of infection.
The great gain in the SVR rate by telaprevir-based triple therapy offsets the problems with adverse effects; thus, it should be considered as a potent treatment protocol for patients with advanced fibrosis, especially for those with treatment-naïve and prior relapse.