Background The addition of telaprevir to standard treatment considerably improves response rates and allows the duration of treatment to be reduced in a significant number of patients.
Purpose To assess the efficacy and safety of telaprevir in combination with peginterferon alfa-2b and ribavirin (RBV) in patients with hepatitis C virus genotype 1 (HCV).
Materials and Methods Retrospective observational study of patients mono-infected with HCV genotype 1, treatment-naive and pretreated, who started treatment with telaprevir. The follow-up period was 24 weeks. Relapsed patients were defined as those with undetectable viral load at the end of treatment but detectable at 24 weeks’ follow-up, partial responders as ≥2log10 decline in viral RNA at week 12 but without undetectable viral load at week 24 and null responders as <2log10 decline in viral RNA at week 12. Some of the variables were: degree of fibrosis, basal viral load, at week 4 and at week 12 (IU/ml), duration of treatment (weeks), basal dose of RBV (mg/day), basal haemoglobin at week 4 and at week 12 (mg/dl), need for blood transfusions and support with erythropoietin and skin toxicity (mild/moderate/severe).
Results We included 16 patients (81.3% men and 18.8% women). 15 patients presented undetectable viral load at weeks 4 and 12, reducing the duration of treatment to 24 weeks. RBV dose was reduced in 6 patients and 2 patients started with a dose of 600 mg, in both cases without compromising treatment success. 7 patients had anaemia, of whom 2 required transfusions and erythropoietin. 12 cases had skin toxicity (8 mild, 3 moderate and 1 severe with subsequent interruption of treatment at week 4).
Conclusions The data confirm those reported in the ILLUMINATE study, with high rates of rapid virological response and reduction of treatment from 48 to 24 weeks, but with a higher rate of skin toxicity although mostly mild to moderate.
No conflict of interest.
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