Updated on 29 August 2013
Dr Kottilil said, "Because ribavirin can cause serious side effects, including anemia, we wanted to compare response rates in patients taking low-dose ribavirin with results from patients on a weight-based dosage. We saw an overall cure rate of about 70 percent using regimens that did not include interferon. This is an encouraging result, especially considering the proportion of volunteers who had characteristics, such as being male, having HCV genotype-1 infection, being African-American and having advanced liver damage, that are recognized as predictors of poor response to treatment."
Additional trials are underway to further determine if regimens without interferon or ribavirin can help people with chronic HCV infection, particularly those who have both HIV and HCV infections, said Dr Kottilil. These trials include two studies in which volunteers with or without HIV infection take a combination of HCV drugs (but no interferon or ribavirin) for periods of three months or less.