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Panminerva Medica 2012 March;54(1):1-9

Copyright © 2012 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Hepatitis C virus infection management in 2012

Van Gulick J. J. M., Lamers M. H., Drenth J. P. H.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands


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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the most common infectious cause of chronic liver disease in Europe. With the introduction of interferon based therapy in combination with ribavirin treatment of chronic HCV has become feasible. This therapy has become the standard of care for patients with HCV and depending on the HCV genotype treatment is successful in 40-70% of patients. In the recent years a new class of drugs have emerged that changed the landscape of HCV treatment. These direct antiviral agents inhibit the NS3/N4A serine protease of HCV. Prototypes are telaprevir and boceprevir and they specifically exert antiviral activity against genotype 1 HCV. A series of landmark trials has paved the way for introduction of these agents, and they have documented a great improvement in the care of genotype 1 HCV patients. Telaprevir and boceprevir are given in combination with pegylated interferon and ribavirin and are useful for treatment naive as well as treatment experienced patients. The clinician should be aware of these developments as they have implications for side effect management, and drug-drug interactions. Finally, strategic use of these agents comes with stopping rules and require close monitoring of the HCV viral load.

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joostphdrenth@cs.com