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The most consistently identified predictive factors for a response to both IFN-alpha monotherapy and IFN-alpha in combination with ribavirin are a low HCV RNA level, the absence of fibrosis, infection with HCV genotype 2 and 3, and a prolonged duration of treatment. In addition, an early response to IFN-alpha predicts response to IFN-alpha monotherapy but not necessarily to combination therapy. There does not appear to be any major gain in treating IFN-naive patients with HCV genotype 2 or 3 infection with a combination of IFN-alpha and ribavirin for longer than 6 months. The identification of these predictive factors has allowed improvement in study design and assessment and may provide a patient with an idea of the likelihood of response, making possible a more informed decision regarding treatment. At present, none of these factors, either alone or in combination, completely predicts response to IFN-alpha. Thus, individual patients should not be denied treatment on the basis of these factors.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/s1089-3261(05)70238-5

Type

Journal article

Journal

Clinics in liver disease

Publication Date

11/1999

Volume

3

Pages

775 - 791

Addresses

Department of Medicine, Division of Hepatology, Royal Free and University College School of Medicine, London, United Kingdom.

Keywords

Liver, Humans, Hepacivirus, Hepatitis C, HIV Infections, Iron, Alanine Transaminase, Interferon-alpha, RNA, Viral, Antiviral Agents, Drug Therapy, Combination, Genotype