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Optimal dose of peginterferon and ribavirin for treatment of chronic hepatitis C


Ira M. Jacobson, Weill Cornell Medical College, 1305 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA. E-mail:


Summary.  Chronic hepatitis C affects 170 million people worldwide, including up to 4 million people in the United States. The current standard of care therapy with pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin (RBV) while highly successful in patients with genotype 2 and 3 infection, allows for sustained virologic response in 42–46% of treatment-naïve genotype 1 patients, comprising about 70% of cases of chronic hepatitis C in the USA. While awaiting approval of Specifically Targeted Antiviral Therapy for HCV (STAT-C) agents, which will require the completion of additional clinical trials, it is important to optimize the dose and duration of currently available treatment modalities, namely PEG-IFN and RBV, for treatment of CHC. Results of several recent trials evaluating optimal dosing of RBV and higher than standard dosing of PEG-IFN in treatment-naïve genotype 1 patients, as well as data from retreatment trials with “induction” doses of PEG-IFN or high-dose RBV in prior non-responders to IFN-based therapy will be reviewed here. The possibility of shorter duration of therapy for genotype 2 and 3 patients based on recent publications and presentations will be discussed as well.