Journal of Viral Hepatitis
Volume 20, Issue 8, pages 524–529, August 2013
M. P. Manns1,*, P. J. Pockros2, G. Norkrans3, C. I. Smith4, T. R. Morgan5, D. Häussinger6, M. L. Shiffman7, S. J. Hadziyannis8, W. N. Schmidt9, I. M. Jacobson10, R. Bárcena11, E. R. Schiff12, O. S. Shaikh13, B. Bacon14, P. Marcellin15, W. Deng16, R. Esteban-Mur17, T. Poynard18, L. D. Pedicone16,†, C. A. Brass16,†, J. K. Albrecht16,†, S. C. Gordon19
Article first published online: 3 MAR 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Keywords: clinical; cure; eradication; follow-up; longitudinal
Sustained virologic response (SVR) is the standard measure for evaluating response to therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC). The aim of this study was to prospectively assess the durability of SVR in the pivotal studies of peginterferon (PEG-IFN) α-2b or IFN α-2b. We conducted two phase 3b long-term follow-up studies of patients previously treated for CHC in eight prospective randomized studies of IFN α-2b and/or PEG-IFN α-2b. Patients who achieved SVR [undetectable hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA 24 weeks after completion of treatment] were eligible for inclusion in these follow-up studies. In total, 636 patients with SVR following treatment with IFN α-2b and 366 with SVR following treatment with PEG-IFN α-2b were enrolled. Definite relapse (quantifiable serum HCV RNA with no subsequent undetectable HCV RNA) was reported in six patients treated with IFN α-2b and three patients treated with PEG-IFN α-2b. Based on these relapses, the point estimate for the likelihood of maintaining response after 5 years was 99.2% [95% confidence interval (CI), 98.1–99.7%] for IFN α-2b and 99.4% (95% CI, 97.7–99.9%) for PEG-IFN α-2b. Successful treatment of hepatitis C with PEG-IFN α-2b or IFN α-2b leads to clinical cure of hepatitis C in the vast majority of cases.