Triple therapy for HCV genotype 1 infection: telaprevir or boceprevir?


  • Mitchell L. Shiffman,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA, USA
    • Liver Institute of Virginia, Bon Secours Health System, Richmond and Newport News, VA, USA
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  • Rafael Esteban

    1. Hospital Universitario Valle Hebron, Paseo Valle Hebron, Barcelona, Spain
    2. CIBERHED del Instituto Carlos III, Barcelona, Spain
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Mitchell L Shiffman, MD, Liver Institute of Virginia

Bon Secours Health System

5855 Bremo Road, Suite 509

Richmond, VA 23662

Tel: 804 977 8920

Fax: 804 282 2918



Boceprevir and telaprevir are the first two protease inhibitors available for the treatment of patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1. A sustained virological response (SVR) of 70–80% is observed when either of these protease inhibitors is utilized with pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin (RBV) in treatment naïve patients. Both agents are also highly effective in patients who failed to achieve a SVR during previous treatment with PEG-IFN/RBV. A rapid virological response (RVR) is observed in 56–60% of treatment naïve patients. Patients who achieve a RVR can be treated with a shorter course of therapy (24–28 weeks) and still achieve a SVR rate of 90% or higher. Patients who do not achieve a RVR, those with cirrhosis and certain prior non-responders should be treated for 48 weeks. Although the SVR rates observed with boceprevir and telaprevir are quite similar both globally and within sub-populations, the treatment algorithms for the two agents are unique. The decision of which protease inhibitor to use should assess several factors including the treatment scheme, duration of therapy, adverse event profile, cost and the likelihood of achieving a RVR. The latter is highly dependent upon IFN sensitivity and the IL28B genotype.