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Pol S., Corouge M., Mallet V., Sogni P.
Université Paris Descartes, APHP, Unité d’Hépatologie, Hôpital Cochin, INSERM U-1016 Institut Cochin, Paris, France
The treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection with pegylated interferon alfa and ribavirin leads to a sustained virologic response in around 50% of patients with HCV genotype 1, 65% with HCV genotype 4, 75% with HCV genotype 3 and around 80% with HCV genotype 2. A better understanding of the HCV life-cycle recently resulted in the development of several potential direct-acting antiviral drugs (DAAs) targeting viral proteins (NS3/4A protease inhibitors, NS5B nucleos(t)idic and non nucleos(t)idic polymerase inhibitors, NS5A replication complex inhibitors). A lot of data have been reported with the combinations of pegylated interferon-alfa/ribavirin and the first generation oral DAAs, Telaprevir and Boceprevir. These regimens have demonstrated a high level of antiviral efficacy and an acceptable safety profile in treatment-naïve patients and in prior non-responders to pegylated interferon-alfa/ribavirin. After this first major step, the combination of the second generation DAAs with pegylated interferon-alfa/ribavirin will impact antiviral potency and tolerance and will reduce the duration of therapies and the pill burden. The next step will be the oral combination of new DAAs which is likely to become the standard of care for chronic HCV after 2015. Most studies are conducted in small numbers of “easy-to-treat” patients with short post-treatment period for concluding to a sustained virologic response: extension of both the numbers of treated patients and post-treatment follow-up, inclusion of more difficult-to-treat patients (experienced genotype 3-infected or genotype 1-infected patients who failed to first generation protease inhibitors, cirrhotic, HIV co-infected patients, allograft recipients or candidates to transplantation) will probably reduce the overall rate of cure.