Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 17302365
Antivir. Ther. (Lond.) 2006;11(8):955-70
The overarching goal in treating chronic hepatitis C (CHC) is the prevention of serious hepatic complications such as cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma. Successful eradication of the hepatitis C virus has been shown to prevent liver disease progression and even promote regression of fibrosis. The treatment of CHC has improved significantly over the past decade with the introduction of interferons (IFNs), and more recently, pegylated IFNs. Up to two-thirds of all patients treated with a pegylated IFN combined with ribavirin can now achieve viral eradication if treated according to current guidelines. Despite this success rate, limited treatment options currently exist for the growing number of patients who do not respond to this combination, and those who have previously failed treatment with conventional IFN-based regimens. There are numerous host- and viral-related factors that can contribute to these outcomes. In addition, treatment insufficiency, whether due to treatment type, side effects or non-compliance, can result in inadequate antiviral pressure and a reduced likelihood of response. This review explores putative management strategies for patients who have previously failed to achieve a response to IFN-based therapy, and summarises retreatment options that have been, and are currently being evaluated.