A review of standard and newer treatment strategies in hepatitis C

Am J Manag Care. 2012 Dec;18(14 Suppl):S340-9.


Chronic infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is common, but underdiagnosed and undertreated worldwide. The most important treatment outcome in HCV is sustained virological response (SVR), due to its impact on reducing the risks of liver-related mortality, hepatocellular carcinoma, and hepatic decompensation. The degree of baseline liver disease, IL28B genotype, and HCV genotype are important determinants of response to treatment, and SVR rates less than 50% can be expected for persons with genotype 1 receiving standard peginterferon with ribavirin. The rates are even lower when cirrhosis is present. There is little evidence supporting improved outcomes with peginterferon and ribavirin retreatment, and escalation of ribavirin dosage leads to an increased risk of adverse events. Introduction of the protease inhibitors, boceprevir and telaprevir, has resulted in SVR rates between 67% and 79% when used as part of a triple therapy regimen, which has become the standard of care for those with genotype 1 HCV. More work is needed to develop strategies to further improve treatment outcomes, and ideally to develop a vaccine to prevent the development of chronic HCV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Genotype
  • Hepacivirus / drug effects*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antiviral Agents