Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Two-Thirds Of Hepatitis C Patients Can See A Cure In Half The Time

15.09.2011
Response-guided treatment with drug telaprevir can be shortened to six months for many, says research published in New England Journal of Medicine

Treatment with a telaprevir-based combination regimen for hepatitis C – heretofore a chronic, destructive and difficult to manage disease – effectively can be shortened to six months in about two-thirds of patients, finds a new study published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Telaprevir, a drug approved for use against hepatitis C in May, inhibits replication of virus. This anti-viral drug and a similar medication called boceprevir have nearly doubled the number of patients with sustained response. Among patients treated with teleprevir, pegylated interferon and ribavirin in the new study, 72 percent were cured of their hepatitis C.

This study shows that two-thirds of patients can be cured in half the time: Patients who are clear of the virus within the first four to 12 weeks of therapy effectively can cut their treatment time from 48 weeks to six months. Besides the considerable benefits to patients of shorter treatment, these findings also show that response-guided therapy is a successful strategy.

“This means that rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, we can individualize treatment for patients based on their specific response to the drugs,” said Fred Poordad, MD, chief of Hepatology and Liver Transplantation at Cedars-Sinai and a senior author on the study. “Once you’re cured by these anti-viral drugs, you’re cured of hepatitis C completely. That’s a little known fact among the public – and even among physicians who don’t regularly treat liver disease.

Cedars-Sinai is one of the major research sites investigating new treatments for hepatitis C; the medical center is involved in developing most of these new compounds. Earlier this year, Dr. Poordad was the lead author of a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on the anti-viral drug boceprevir, also an oral protease inhibitor. In that study, 1,097 patients with hepatitis C who had never been treated for the virus received standard treatment – pegylated interferon and ribavirin – for four weeks. Then, a third of the patients continued only on those drugs, while two other groups also received different durations of boceprevir. The boceprevir patients responded well, with 63 percent and 66 percent achieving sustained virus suppression – compared to 38 percent among patients taking only pegylated interferon and ribavirin.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 3.2 million people in the United States have chronic hepatitis C virus infections. The disease is spread through virally infected blood, often by sharing of syringes or other equipment to inject drugs; prior to 1990, some infections can be attributed to blood transfusions. Some rare infections can be traced to medical procedures. Chronic hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver cancer and cirrhosis and is the chief reason for the need for liver transplants in the U.S. The disease is linked to as many as 10,000 deaths each year.

In the new telaprevir study, funded by Vertex Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, Mass., a total of 540 patients were enrolled. They took a 12-week course of 750 milligrams of telaprevir three times a day in addition to therapy with pegylated interferon and ribavirin. Patients eligible for shortened treatment – meaning the virus was not detectable in the first month of treatment – were randomized to receive either 24 weeks or 48 weeks of treatment. The high cure rates among both groups showed that there was no benefit to additional treatment for early responders.

For patients, the shorter course of treatment means decreased costs, fewer side effects and less disruption to their daily lives, as this therapy requires intensive monitoring and laboratory visits.

Dr. Poordad has received research grants and served as an adviser and consultant for Vertex Pharmaceuticals, which makes telaprevir, and Merck, which makes boceprevir.

Sandy Van | Cedars-Sinai News
Further information:
http://www.cshs.org

Further reports about: Hepatitis Pharmaceuticals Two-Thirds anti-viral drug virus infection

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

New material for digital memories of the future

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>