Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 24280503
Med Sci (Paris) 2013 Nov;29(11):998-1003
The treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection markedly progressed these two last decades. Since 15 years, the combination of pegylated interferon α and ribavirin led to a sustained virologic response (SVR) which corresponds to a complete recovery in around 45 % of patients with HCV genotype 1, 65 % with HCV genotype 4, 70 % with HCV genotype 3 and around 85 % with HCV genotype 2. A better understanding of the HCV life-cycle recently resulted in the development of several potential direct-acting antiviral drugs (DAA) targeting viral proteins (NS3/4A protease inhibitors, NS5B nucleosidic and non nucleosidic polymerase inhibitors, NS5A replication complex inhibitors). A lot of data has been reported with the combinations of pegylated interferon α/ribavirin and the first generation oral DAA, Telaprevir and Boceprevir. These regimens have demonstrated a high level of antiviral efficacy (75 % of SVR) and an acceptable safety profile. After this first major step, the combination of the second generation DAA with pegylated interferon α/ribavirin will impact antiviral potency (75 to 90 % of SVR) and tolerance and will reduce the duration of therapies and the pill burden. The next step, which is an actual revolution, will be the oral combination of new DAA which is likely to become the standard of care for chronic HCV after 2015. Most studies have been conducted in small numbers of “easy-to-treat” patients with short post-treatment period with outstanding results but we are now waiting for confirming these results in 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).