For patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection genotypes 2 (G2) or 3 (G3), pegylated interferon (peg-IFN) α-2b plus ribavirin is effective, with genotype being the most significant predictor of treatment outcome, according to results published in the European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

The results indicated that patients with HCV G3 were less likely to achieve sustained virologic response (SVR) and more likely to experience relapse compared with G2.

The study included treatment-naive participants with chronic HCV infection G2 or G3 from 2 Canadian multicenter observational studies, RediPEN and PoWer (n=1242). Participants received weight-based ribavirin plus subcutaneous peg-IFN α-2b 1.5 μg/kg/wk.

The primary outcome was SVR, and secondary endpoints included early virologic response, end-of-treatment response, and relapse. The researchers used multivariate logistic regression to identify independent predictors of treatment response.

Among participants with HCV G2, 74.4% achieved SVR compared with 63.6% of G3. Among participants who achieved end-of-treatment response, relapse occurred in 12.7% of participants with G2 and 19.1% of participants with G3.

The researchers found that G3 was an independent predictor of reduced SVR (odds ratio [OR], 0.20; P =.007) and increased relapse (OR, 6.84; P =.022). For participants with G3, increasing fibrosis score was the strongest predictor of reduced SVR (F2 vs F0/F1: OR, 0.41 [P =.009]; F3 vs F0/F1: OR, 0.72 [P =.388]; F4 vs F0/F1: OR, 0.27 [P =.001]).

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“Treatment with PEG/RBV remains an effective and viable alternative in subsets of G2 and G3 HCV-infected patients, particularly in treatment-naïve individuals with lower fibrosis scores, and reimbursement limitations,” the researchers wrote.

Disclosures

This study was funded by Merck Canada Inc.

Reference

Marotta P, Bailey R, Elkashab M, et al. Real-world effectiveness of peginterferon α-2b plus ribavirin in a Canadian cohort of treatment-naïve chronic hepatitis C patients with genotypes 2 or 3: results of the PoWer and RediPEN studies. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2016;35(4):597-609.