This month Dr Michael Charlton has offered his turn at the microphone
to Dr. Donald Jensen and Dr Andrew Aronsohn from the University of Chicago, in order that they can address a pressing issue that will emerge in tandem with the likely approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of boceprevir and/or telaprevir. DAA, direct-acting antiviral; HCV, hepatitis C virus. More than 120 million people are infected with hepatitis C worldwide.1 Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a leading cause of liver-related mortality and is the most common indication for liver transplantation in the United States.2 Since the introduction of pegylated this website interferon and ribavirin nearly 10 years ago, response rates have been relatively stagnant, with less than half of treated patients achieving a sustained virological response.2 Data from the first direct-acting antiviral (DAA) agent, BILN 2061, was initially presented at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases annual meeting in 2002, which sparked enthusiasm over improving therapeutic efficacy.3
Nearly a decade later, we find ourselves on the brink of a new era of HCV therapy. Telaprevir Trametinib and boceprevir will likely receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval by mid-2011, and based on phase 2 and 3 data, will significantly improve rates of sustained virological response in patients infected with HCV genotype 1 when compared to current standard-of-care therapy.4-7 This improved efficacy has been well-publicized for years, and anticipation of DAA availability
has already become part of the HCV treatment algorithm. Greater understanding of the natural history of HCV and identification of risk factors for progression to advanced liver disease has allowed many physicians to recommend deferral of standard-of-care therapy in favor of waiting for DAA availability Etoposide research buy for patients who are at low risk to progress to significant liver disease in the near future. This was demonstrated in a large VA-based study of 4084 patients evaluated for HCV therapy with interferon and ribavirin.8 Of the eligible patients who declined therapy, 50.3% stated they had deferred treatment in anticipation of more effective medications.8 Treatment-naive patients who have deferred standard-of-care therapy, in addition to patients who have failed previous regimens of HCV treatment, will likely create a surge of requests to initiate therapy in mid-2011. The influx of patients requesting HCV therapy will present a significant problem. HCV therapy is becoming increasingly complex, and the addition of DAAs will only add to the time needed to effectively educate and appropriately monitor patients while they are receiving treatment. This may be partially offset by response-guided therapy that shortens treatment duration.