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Liver Transpl. 2012 Dec;18(12):1464-70. doi: 10.1002/lt.23542.

Telaprevir-based triple therapy in liver transplant patients with hepatitis C virus: a 12-week pilot study providing safety and efficacy data.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Infectiology, Medical Clinic, Tübingen, Germany.


After liver transplantation (LT), the management of recurrent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections still remains a major challenge. In HCV genotype 1 patients not undergoing transplantation, the introduction of protease inhibitor (PI)-based regimens has increased the sustained virological response rate significantly. This pilot study investigated both the safety and efficacy of telaprevir (TVR)-based triple therapy in HCV-infected LT patients with a special emphasis on drug-drug interactions between immunosuppressants and PIs. Safety and efficacy data were gathered for 12 weeks for 9 HCV-infected LT patients who were treated with a combination of TVR, pegylated interferon, and ribavirin (RBV) in parallel with immunosuppressive drugs such as tacrolimus (TAC; n = 4), cyclosporine A (CSA; n = 4), and sirolimus (SIR; n = 1). Seven of the transplant patients completed the 12 weeks of triple therapy. At week 4, 4 of the patients were found to be HCV RNA-negative, and importantly, 8 were found to be negative at week 12. During the 12-week course of triple therapy, short-term measurements of immunosuppressant trough levels required individual dose reductions in all patients (CSA, 2.5-fold; SIR, 7-fold; and TAC, 22-fold). Furthermore, two-thirds of the patients exhibited hematological side effects requiring RBV dose reductions, the administration of erythropoietin, or even blood transfusions. In conclusion, this pilot study provides evidence showing that TVR-based triple therapy is effective within the first 4 to 12 weeks in LT patients suffering from HCV genotype 1 recurrence, and it also provides evidence showing that drug-drug interactions between TVR and immunosuppressants can be handled appropriately through the close monitoring of trough levels and adequate dosage adjustments.

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