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Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases

Print version ISSN 1413-8670

Abstract

PARISE, E.  and  BRAZILIAN PEGASYS COOPERATIVE STUDY GROUP et al. Peginterferon alfa-2a (40KD) (PEGASYS®) plus ribavirin (COPEGUS®) in retreatment of chronic hepatitis C patients, nonresponders and relapsers to previous conventional interferon plus ribavirin therapy. Braz J Infect Dis [online]. 2006, vol.10, n.1, pp. 11-16. ISSN 1413-8670.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-86702006000100003.

Peginterferon alfa plus ribavirin is currently the treatment of choice for chronic hepatitis C. Peginterferon alfa-2a (40KD) plus ribavirin has given an overall sustained virological response of 18% in F3/F4 previous nonresponder US patients. We evaluated the effectiveness of peginterferon alfa-2a (40KD) plus ribavirin in Brazilian patients who were relapsers or nonresponders to previous interferon-based therapy. One-hundred-thirty-four patients with biopsy-proven chronic hepatitis C, HCV RNA positive, elevated ALT and who were either relapsers (n=37) or nonresponders (n=97) to at least 24 weeks of conventional interferon/ribavirin therapy were retreated with peginterferon alfa-2a (40KD) 180mg/qw and ribavirin 800mg bid for 48 weeks. Efficacy was assessed as virological response (defined as undetectable HCV RNA) at the end of treatment (EoT) and at the end of follow-up (SVR - Sustained Virological Response). Safety assessments consisted of clinical and laboratory evaluations. In the patient sample, 72% were genotype 1 and 34% were cirrhotic. In an intention-to-treat analysis, relapser patients showed 78% EoT response and 51% SVR. Nonresponders showed 57% EoT response and 26% SVR. Positive predictive factors of SVR were non-1 genotype and relapser state. Six percent of the patients interrupted treatment because of adverse events and 45% had dose reduction (mainly associated with leucopenia and anemia). Brazilian patient relapsers and nonresponders to conventional interferon and ribavirin treatment can achieve a sustained virological response when retreated with peginterferon alfa-2a (40KD) and ribavirin. The safety profile is similar to that of naive patients.

Keywords : Peginterferon alfa; ribavirin; hepatitis C; safety; efficacy.

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