This study was supported by an unrestricted research grant by F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd (Basel, CH, Switzerland). The grant was used to purchase peginterferon-α-2b, and to pay for laboratory determinations and external monitoring. Furthermore, Hoffmann-La Roche provided (40 kDa) peginterferon-α-2a and ribavirin for treatment of the patients after the end of the study. Hoffmann La Roche had no role in the study design, data evaluation or writing of the manuscript.
Twice-weekly administration of peginterferon-α-2b improves viral kinetics in patients with chronic hepatitis C genotype 1
Version of Record online: 23 JUN 2003
Journal of Viral Hepatitis
Volume 10, Issue 4, pages 271–276, July 2003
How to Cite
Formann, E., Jessner, W., Bennett, L. and Ferenci, P. (2003), Twice-weekly administration of peginterferon-α-2b improves viral kinetics in patients with chronic hepatitis C genotype 1. Journal of Viral Hepatitis, 10: 271–276. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2893.2003.00446.x
- Issue online: 23 JUN 2003
- Version of Record online: 23 JUN 2003
- Received January 2003; accepted for publication April 2003
- viral load
Summary. The decline in hepatitis C viral load on treatment with peginterferon-α-2b is not continuous. The aim of this study was to investigate whether twice weekly dosing of peginterferon-α-2b may improve viral kinetics. Ten interferon-naïve patients with chronic hepatitis C (genotype 1a or b) were randomized to receive either 1.0 μg/kg peginterferon-α-2b once (group A) or twice weekly (group B) for 4 weeks. Viral load and serum concentrations of peginterferon-α-2b were measured. Peginterferon-α-2b reached maximal blood concentrations 24 h after the first dose, followed by a linear decline during the subsequent days. On the day before administration of the next dose, peginterferon-α-2b was undetectable in nine patients in group A (once weekly dosing). The same pattern was observed during the next 3 weeks of therapy. In group B (twice weekly dosing) peginterferon-α-2b was detectable at any given time point and higher than in group A (P between 0.01 and <0.0001). Viral load decreased in all patients within 2 days after the first dose of peginterferon-α-2b, but increased again on day 3. In group A, it further increased until day 7. A similar pattern was observed in the second week. In contrast, in group B, viral load decreased again on day 4 and remained lower until the end of the study (P < 0.001). To achieve continuous drug exposure and to improve initial viral clearance, peginterferon-α-2b has to be given at least two times weekly.