HCV Viral Load Testing Not Useful As Measure of New Hepatitis C Drug Effectiveness

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Shyamasundaran Kottilil MBBS, PhD
Division of Infectious Diseases, Institute of Human Virology
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Laboratory of Immunoregulation
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Kottilil: During treatment with interferon-based therapies, hepatitis C viral load levels were clinically useful as on-therapy markers of treatment outcome. However, the standard-of-care for HCV treatment has recently evolved from interferon-based regimens to short-duration, all-oral, direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapies. Therefore, it is important that we re-evaluate the utility of HCV viral loads during DAA regimens in guiding clinical decision-making.

We found that Hepatitis C viral loads on treatment and at end of treatment were not predictive of treatment success versus relapse with DAA therapy. Contrary to our experience with interferon-containing regimens, low levels of quantifiable HCV RNA at end of treatment did not preclude treatment success.


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