Original Publication Date
The New England Journal of Medicine
DOI of Original Publication
Date of Submission
Treatment guidelines recommend the use of peginterferon alfa-2b or peginterferon alfa-2a in combination with ribavirin for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. However, these regimens have not been adequately compared.
At 118 sites, patients who had HCV genotype 1 infection and who had not previously been treated were randomly assigned to undergo 48 weeks of treatment with one of three regimens: peginterferon alfa-2b at a standard dose of 1.5 μg per kilogram of body weight per week or a low dose of 1.0 μg per kilogram per week, plus ribavirin at a dose of 800 to 1400 mg per day, or peginterferon alfa-2a at a dose of 180 μg per week plus ribavirin at a dose of 1000 to 1200 mg per day. We compared the rate of sustained virologic response and the safety and adverse-event profiles between the peginterferon alfa-2b regimens and between the standard-dose peginterferon alfa- 2b regimen and the peginterferon alfa-2a regimen.
Among 3070 patients, rates of sustained virologic response were similar among the regimens: 39.8% with standard-dose peginterferon alfa-2b, 38.0% with low-dose peginterferon alfa-2b, and 40.9% with peginterferon alfa-2a (P=0.20 for standarddose vs. low-dose peginterferon alfa-2b; P=0.57 for standard-dose peginterferon alfa-2b vs. peginterferon alfa-2a). Estimated differences in response rates were 1.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], −2.3 to 6.0) between standard-dose and low-dose peginterferon alfa-2b and −1.1% (95% CI, −5.3 to 3.0) between standard-dose peginterferon alfa-2b and peginterferon alfa-2a. Relapse rates were 23.5% (95% CI, 19.9 to 27.2) for standard-dose peginterferon alfa-2b, 20.0% (95% CI, 16.4 to 23.6) for lowdose peginterferon alfa-2b, and 31.5% (95% CI, 27.9 to 35.2) for peginterferon alfa- 2a. The safety profile was similar among the three groups; serious adverse events were observed in 8.6 to 11.7% of patients. Among the patients with undetectable HCV RNA levels at treatment weeks 4 and 12, a sustained virologic response was achieved in 86.2% and 78.7%, respectively.
In patients infected with HCV genotype 1, the rates of sustained virologic response and tolerability did not differ significantly between the two available peginterferon– ribavirin regimens or between the two doses of peginterferon alfa-2b. (ClinicalTrials. gov number, NCT00081770.)
From The New England Journal of Medicine, McHutchison, J. G., Lawitz, E. J., Shiffman, M.L. et al., Peginterferon Alfa-2b or Alfa-2a with Ribavirin for Treatment of Hepatitis C Infection, Vol. 361, Page 580, Copyright © 2009 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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VCU Internal Medicine Publications