Patients with cirrhosis who are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) are the most in need of antiviral treatment. Virologic cure improves fibrosis and quality of life while reducing liver-related morbidity and mortality. In mid-2011, the addition of directacting antiviral agents (DAAs) - the protease inhibitors boceprevir (Victrelis, Merck) and telaprevir (Incivek, Vertex) - to pegylated interferon α-2a/b and ribavirin revolutionized the treatment of HCV infection by increasing cure rates across all fibrosis scores in patients with genotype 1 HCV infection. However, patients with advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis are the most difficult to treat, and the addition of DAAs increases treatment side effects as well as potency. Five phase III DAA trials have been published to date, but they contain limited data on patients with cirrhosis. This review will examine the available data and will describe the evolution of HCV therapy in patients with cirrhosis from the standard-of-care therapy of the past decade into the new era of DAAs.
|Gastroenterology and Hepatology
|Published - Nov 2012
- Chronic hepatitis C virus infection
- Direct-acting antiviral agents
- Protease inhibitors
- Sustained virologic response