PEGASYS® Study Authors Conclude that Patients Successfully Treated for Hepatitis C Can be Considered “Cured”
Results from a new study, presented at the 38th annual Digestive Disease Week (DDW) conference, showed that more than 99 percent of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection who were treated successfully with PEGASYS® (peginterferon alfa-2a) had no detectable virus up to seven years later – validating the use of the word “cured” to describe these patients, according to study authors. Currently, the best indicator of treatment success is a sustained viral response (SVR), defined as undetectable hepatitis C virus in the blood six months after the end of treatment. The results announced today are from a long-term follow-up study to determine whether the virus re-emerges in patients who achieve an SVR. (Studies show that, overall, about half of patients with hepatitis C monoinfection can achieve an SVR with PEGASYS and ribavirin treatment, the current standard of care.)
“The results announced today are encouraging because it is rare in the treatment of life-threatening viral diseases that can we tell patients they have the chance for a cure,” said Dr. Mitchell L. Shiffman, Professor of Medicine, Chief of Hepatology and Medical Director of the Liver Transplant Program, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, and study author. “But in hepatitis C today, we are able to help some patients achieve an outcome that effectively enables them to put their disease behind them.”
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