Author(s): Kronenberger B, Zeuzem S
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Abstract Aim of antiviral therapy of patients with chronic hepatitis C is the sustained elimination of the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The standard of care (SOC) is peginterferon alfa-2a/-2b with ribavirin for 48 weeks or 24 weeks in patients infected with HCV genotype 1 or 2/3, respectively. Overall, approximately half of the patients can be cured by SOC. Based on baseline viral load and the speed of virologic response during treatment, individualization of treatment duration is possible. However, this approach is not sufficient to substantially improve the sustained virologic response (SVR) rates. This goal can be achieved with new HCV specific inhibitors against the NS3/4A polymerase and the NS5B polymerase. Recent trials reported SVR rates in the order of 67-69\% and 67-75\% for the combination of SOC with the protease inhibitors telaprevir and boceprevir, respectively, in patients with HCV genotype 1 infection. Several new HCV specific inhibitors such as protease inhibitors, nucleoside and non-nucleoside polymerase inhibitors as well as non HCV specific compounds with anti-HCV activity such as cyclophilin inhibitors, silibinin, and nitazoxanide are currently in clinical evaluation. The review describes recent developments and discusses limitations posed by resistance development and drug toxicity.
This article was published in Ann Hepatol
and referenced in Virology & Mycology