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J Infect Dis. 2010 Mar;201(5):751-9. doi: 10.1086/650470.

Efficacy and safety of pegylated interferon combined with ribavirin for the treatment of older patients with chronic hepatitis C.

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1
Hepatobiliary Division, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Graduate Institute of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The present study evaluated the efficacy and safety of pegylated interferon (PegIFN)/ribavirin treatment in elderly patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

METHODS:

Seventy elderly patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection (group A; age, > or = 65 years) and 140 sex- and HCV genotype-matched controls (group B; age, 50-64 years) were allocated to receive a PegIFN-alpha-2a/ribavirin standard-of-care regimen.

RESULTS:

Group A had a significantly higher rate of treatment discontinuation (21.4% vs 6.4%; P = .001) and grade 3 or 4 adverse events (34.3% vs 20%; P = .002) than group B. In intention-to-treat analysis, the sustained virologic response (SVR) rate was substantially lower in group A than in group B (67.1% vs 78.6%; P = .07). The inferiority of the SVR rate in group A was observed among patients with HCV genotype 1 (HCV-1) (51.9% vs 75.9%; P = .03) but not among patients with HCV genotype 2 or 3 (HCV-2/3) (76.7% vs 80.2%; P = .65). Among patients in group A who had a rapid virologic response, those infected with HCV-1 and those infected with HCV-2/3 had similar SVR rates (80% and 87.9%, respectively). For patients receiving treatment for >80% of its expected duration, SVR rates were similar between the 2 groups (80.4% vs 82.6%, respectively), regardless of viral genotype.

CONCLUSIONS:

Older patients with HCV infection, especially those in the subgroup infected with HCV-1, had a greater frequency of adverse events and poorer adherence to the standard-of-care regimen, which may be the major reason for treatment inferiority.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

Clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT00629824 .

PMID:
20102281
DOI:
10.1086/650470
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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