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Telaprevir-containing regimen for treatment of hepatitis C virus infection in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma awaiting liver transplantation: a case series

Authors Torres H, Kaseb A, Mahale P, Miller E, Frenette C

Received 11 February 2014

Accepted for publication 7 April 2014

Published 16 July 2014 Volume 2014:1 Pages 109—114

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JHC.S60867

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Harrys A Torres,1 Ahmed Kaseb,2 Parag Mahale,1 Ethan Miller,3 Catherine Frenette4

1Department of Infectious Diseases, Infection Control and Employee Health, 2Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, 3Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA; 4Department of Liver Transplantation, Weill Cornell Medical College, The Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX, USA

Abstract: In patients who undergo liver transplantation (LT), allograft failure secondary to hepatitis C virus (HCV) recurrence after LT accounts for two-thirds of graft failures and deaths. Achievement of sustained virologic response before LT eliminates the risk of HCV recurrence. Only a limited number of studies have evaluated the role of antiviral treatment before LT. No published data are available regarding the use of HCV protease inhibitors before LT. We report our experience using the combination of telaprevir, pegylated interferon alfa-2a (PegIFN alfa-2a), and ribavirin in three patients with HCV-associated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) awaiting LT. Two patients had not received, and one had had a partial response to HCV therapy (PegIFN alfa-2a plus ribavirin). All three patients had genotype 1b and were started on telaprevir and full doses of PegIFN alfa-2a and ribavirin. Treatment was planned to be continued until the day of LT or 48 weeks total, whichever came first. One patient still had detectable HCV RNA after 24 weeks of antivirals and was, therefore, excluded from further analysis. The other two patients had undetectable HCV RNA at the end of antiviral therapy. In one of these patients, HCV RNA remained undetectable after LT; the other patient experienced viral relapse. HCV therapy was tolerated by all patients; no patient required permanent discontinuation of therapy because of toxic effects. All three patients experienced hematologic toxic effects. Only one patient required treatment discontinuation, due to progression of HCC. The use of telaprevir-containing regimens appears to be safe in selected patients with HCV-associated HCC awaiting LT, but more studies are warranted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of this treatment combination to prevent post-LT viral recurrence.

Keywords: telaprevir, hepatitis C virus, hepatocellular carcinoma, liver transplantation

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