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Hepatitis C, PEGylated interferon, Ribavirin, Non-responders
Background: PEGylated interferon and ribavirin therapy is the current standard of care for patients with chronic Hepatitis C virus. It is unknown whether retreatment may be beneficial in non-responders.
Methods: Patients who failed to respond to either PEG-Intron or Pegasys with ribavirin were switched to a different PEGylated interferon with ribavirin.
Patients were assessed for virologic response by a decrease in viral load levels using a polymerase chain reaction assay. Only patients who had a negative viral load at week 24 were allowed to continue treatment for 48 weeks. Patients with a negative polymerase chain reaction assay after 6 months off treatment were considered as responders to the retreatment regimen.
Results: A total of 16 patients were retreated. The combination of Pegasys and ribavirin was administered to 3 patients, and 13 patients received PEG-Intron with ribavirin. Patients had either genotype 1 or 4. Only 4 patients responded to retreatment with PEG-Intron (25%).
The responders were female, had a low viral load and had an early significant viral load reduction. Three patients had genotype 4, and one had genotype 1.
Conclusion: Retreatment with different PEGylated interferon in patients who failed previous treatment may have a role in the selected patients infected with chronic Hepatitis C virus.