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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2017 Dec 1;72(12):3420-3424. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkx302.

Optimal cure rate by personalized HCV regimens in real-life: a proof-of-concept study.

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Department of Experimental Medicine and Surgery, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.
Infectious Diseases, Policlinic Foundation of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.
Infectious Disease Unit, 'Spirito Santo' General Hospital, Pescara, Italy.



Pretreatment evaluation of HCV-infected patients is a complex interplay between multiple clinical and viral parameters, leading to a tailored approach that may bring real-life sustained virological response (SVR) rates close to 98%-99%.


As proof-of-concept, we evaluated the efficacy of all-oral direct-acting antiviral (DAA) regimens in patients whose personalization included pre-therapy evaluation of natural resistance-associated substitutions (RASs), in addition to international guideline recommendations.


One hundred and thirty-one patients who started a first-line all-oral DAA regimen between April 2015 and December 2016 were tested for baseline NS3 and NS5A RASs by Sanger sequencing. SVR12 was defined as HCV-RNA undetectability 12 weeks after treatment discontinuation.


Compatibly with a real-life context, 74.0% (97 of 131) of patients presented ≥2 pretreatment risk factors for failure to achieve SVR12 (infection by GT-1a/GT-3a; cirrhosis; previous treatment experience; HCV-RNA ≥800 000 IU/mL) and 33.6% had ≥3 risk factors. Natural RASs were frequently detected (32.1% prevalence), with substantial prevalence of NS5A RASs (15.3%), mostly represented by Y93H in GT-1b (3 of 36, 8.3%) and GT-3a (3 of 25, 12.0%) and F28C in GT-2c (2 of 11, 18.2%). Overall, personalized treatment led to 100% SVR12, even in those patients for whom treatment strategy was either strengthened (by ribavirin inclusion and/or duration increase) or simplified (by ribavirin exclusion and/or duration reduction), thanks to baseline RAS evaluation.


Even with newer DAA regimens, an integrated interpretation of clinical and virological pretreatment parameters, including natural RASs, may play a relevant role in bringing SVR rates close to the highest achievable. Treatment tailoring can be foreseen in 'hard-to-treat' patients, but also in 'easy' patients with favourable indicators, whereby a simplification/shortening of recommended regimens can be indicated.

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