Options for Treating Hepatitis C in Those With Advanced Cirrhosis

Various combinations of Sovaldi (sofosbuvir), Olysio (simeprevir) and ribavirin have shown moderate promise in curing people with genotype 1 or 2 of hepatitis C virus (HCV) who have decompensated cirrhosis. Researchers presented preliminary findings from the HCV-TARGET study at the 50th International Liver Congress in Vienna, Austria.

So far in this ongoing study, 277 treatment-experienced and treatment-naive participants with cirrhosis and a MELD score of at least 10 (the model for end-stage liver disease, or MELD, score assesses the severity of liver disease). Within this group, 156 have completed post-treatment follow-up.

There is limited data on actual completion of the study, and results are expressed in terms of those who reached a sustained virologic response four weeks after completing treatment. Known as an SVR4, this benchmark is a good indication that someone will continue another eight weeks and reach an SVR12, which is considered a cure.

Out of 24 people with genotype 2 who took Sovaldi and ribavirin, most of them for 12 or 16 weeks, 18 achieved an SVR4, or 75 percent. Seventy-seven percent (55 of 71) of those with genotype 1 who took Sovaldi and Olysio, most of them for 12 weeks, achieved an SVR4, as did 81 percent (13 of 16) of those with genotype 1 who took Sovaldi, Olysio and ribavirin for 12 weeks.

Eighty-eight percent of the participants reported at least one adverse side effect, although most were mild.

Indicators of liver health tended to improve during the follow-up period.

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