Researchers publish 'landmark' results for curing hepatitis C in transplant patients

A new treatment regimen for hepatitis C, the most common cause of liver cancer and transplantation, has produced results that will transform treatment protocols for transplant patients, according to research published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The investigational three-drug regimen, which produced hepatitis C cure rates of 97 percent, is an oral interferon-free therapy. Previously, the typical treatment for hepatitis C after a liver transplant was an interferon-based therapy, usually given for 48 weeks. It had a much lower response rate, had a risk of organ rejection and was poorly tolerated because of the immunosuppressants required to prevent rejection. The new oral regimen—ABT-450, ombitasvir and dasabuvir (with or without ribavirin)—produces significantly fewer side effects and is prescribed for 24 weeks.

First author Paul Kwo, M.D., professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine, called the results of the international clinical study a "landmark achievement."

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