Management of chronic hepatitis C treatment failures: role of consensus interferon
Stevan A Gonzalez1, Emmet B Keeffe2
1Division of Hepatology, Baylor Regional Transplant Institute, Baylor All Saints Medical Center, Fort Worth and Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA; 2Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, CA, USA
Abstract: A significant proportion of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection who undergo antiviral therapy have persistent or recurrent viremia and fail to achieve a sustained virologic response (SVR). Factors associated with treatment failure include HCV genotype 1 infection, high serum HCV RNA levels, and advanced fibrosis. Consensus interferon (CIFN) is a synthetic type I interferon derived from a consensus sequence of the most common amino acids found in naturally occurring alpha interferon subtypes. Several prospective clinical studies have demonstrated that CIFN may be a treatment option in patients who have failed prior interferonbased therapy, including those who have failed combination therapy with standard interferon or peginterferon plus ribavirin. Daily CIFN in combination with ribavirin may be an effective regimen in this setting; however, optimal dose and treatment duration of CIFN therapy have not been well established. Patients who achieve viral suppression during prior interferon-based therapy and those who do not have advanced fibrosis have a greater likelihood of achieving a SVR with CIFN retreatment. Individualized therapy targeting specific patient groups will be an important consideration in the successful management of prior treatment failures. Additional prospective studies are required in order to identify optimal treatment strategies for the use of CIFN in these patients.
Keywords: consensus interferon, hepatitis C, interferon, nonresponder, relapser
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