Background & aims: Polymorphisms in the region of the interleukin (IL)-28B gene on chromosome 19 have been associated with peginterferon-alfa-induced clearance of genotype 1 hepatitis C virus (HCV); there are no data for patients with genotype 2 or 3 HCV. We evaluated the effects of IL-28B polymorphisms on response to treatment with peginterferon and ribavirin in a well-characterized cohort of genotype 2/3 patients.
Methods: DNA was analyzed from 268 patients (Caucasian: genotype 2, 213; genotype 3, 55). Patients were randomly assigned to groups that received standard duration (24 wk; n = 68) or variable durations of therapy. Patients who received variable durations (VD) and had a rapid virologic response (RVR) were treated for 12 weeks (VD12; n = 122); those without an RVR were treated for 24 weeks (VD24; n = 78). IL-28B genotypes (rs12979860) were analyzed for association with treatment response.
Results: The frequencies of the IL-28B genotypes were as follows: CC, 37%; CT, 48%; and TT, 15%; 82% of patients with the CC genotype achieved a sustained virologic response (SVR), compared with 75% with the CT and 58% with the TT genotypes (P = .0046). Differences between IL-28B genotypes were greatest among patients who failed to attain RVR (VD24 SVR rates: CC, 87%; CT, 67%; and TT, 29%; P = .0002). Among patients with RVRs (61%), the IL-28B genotype was not associated with SVR (>70% for all IL-28B genotypes). In a multivariable logistic regression model, IL-28B genotype predicted SVR (odds ratio, 1.76; 95% confidence interval, 1.16-2.7).
Conclusions: An IL-28B polymorphism was associated with an SVR in patients infected with genotype 2/3 HCV who did not achieve a RVR. Analysis of IL-28B genotype might be used to guide treatment for these patients.
Copyright © 2010 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.