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J Leukoc Biol. 2009 Jul;86(1):33-9. doi: 10.1189/jlb.1208772. Epub 2009 Apr 24.

Immune-based therapy for chronic hepatitis C.

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Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering, KAIST, Daejeon, Korea.


Chronic, persistent HCV infection is a public health issue. It often progresses to life-threatening complications, including liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The current standard therapy is a combination of pegylated IFN-alpha and ribavirin. This therapy results in a sustained virologic response in only 50% of patients infected with HCV genotype 1 and is often accompanied with substantial side-effects. Therefore, it is imperative to develop novel therapies with higher efficacy and less substantial side-effects. Impaired immune responses to HCV are key features of chronic HCV infection; thus, intervention strategies typically involve boosting the immune responses against HCV. These immune-based therapies for chronic HCV infection include therapeutic vaccines, antagonists of T cell inhibitory factors, anti-HCV neutralizing antibodies, cytokines, and agonists for TLRs. Currently, various types of immune-based therapies are under development that might be used as a monotherapy or in combination with other antiviral drugs for the treatment of chronic HCV infection.

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