New Hepatitis C treatment, yet again, maybe!

Novel treatment and treatment stratagies for Hepatitis C infection is something I have written about on ERV a couple of times before:

New Hepatitis C treatment, maybe!
New Hepatitis C treatment, again, maybe!

To briefly summarize, Hepatitis C sucks. It has infected lots of people. It kills lots of people. And we have extremely limited treatment options for infected patients. We basically have two drugs, and they make you feel like shit, literally, for the 6-12 month treatment course. To operationally define “shit”– Its like having the flu for 6-12 months, with the added bonus of ‘emotional disturbances’, ie, you go nuts.

This means that only ~half of the people infected with Hepatitis C can even successfully complete the treatment course of the only two drugs we have to help them. Of the people infected with the ‘worst’ Hepatitis, Type 1, only ~50% of them are cured of the infection.

So, for a simplified illustration, of 100 people infected with HepC Type 1– 50 can tolerate the drugs. 25 are ‘cured’. 75 are still sick.

What can we do to help those people? What can we do to make treatment easier and tolerable for all 100 people? What can we do to up that viral clearance rate?

There is some recent data, small group of folks, that gives us hope that the treatment process for HepC Type 1 could get a *lot* easier:

Preliminary Study of Two Antiviral Agents for Hepatitis C Genotype 1

They took 21 patients who had failed primary therapy. They gave them two oral drugs (vs interferon, which must be administered IV) Daclatasvir and Asunaprevir. Those names might look cryptic, but readers of ERV shouldnt be intimidated– Asunaprevir is a protease inhibitor and Daclatasvir is a ‘replication complex inhibitor’, that is it screws up the viruses ability to replicate its genome.

Of the 11 patients that only received the two oral drugs, 5 cleared the virus. Of the 10 who got the two oral drugs PLUS the two standard drugs again, 9 cleared the virus.

Again, this is still very, very preliminary– I mean, 10 patients, for Petes sake. But of the 10 that got quad-drug therapy, 9 were cured!

I really hope this pans out.

But, just to be Debbie Downer here– even if this therapy does work out, its success will be fleeting. Those patients that were not cured? They were populated with HepC that was resistant to the drugs.

*shakes fist angrily* EVILUTION!!!!!!!

Comments

  1. #1 cynical1
    January 20, 2012

    ” We basically have two drugs, and they make you feel like shit, literally, for the 6-12 month treatment course. ” Presumably you’re talking about interferon with ribavarin.

    Actually, there were two protease inhibitors approved by the FDA last year for Hep C to be used in conjunction with ribavarin and interferon alpha: Boceprevir and Telaprevir. Cure rates are markedly higher for both agents than with ribavarin and interferon together.

  2. #2 Poodle Stomper
    January 20, 2012

    It’s not evilution, they were intelligently designed to be resistant to keep us aware of our fallen status. Sheesh!

  3. #3 randall
    January 22, 2012

    Let’s hope the two new protease inhibitors that work with out the evil interferon pan out!

  4. #4 sam
    January 23, 2012

    Listen Im not really sure where you get your info from but I recently started the new treatment and it really is not bad at all.I read about all the side effects and it scared me to death . Unless the people that are telling you it sucks are on the drugs do not listen to them Im not sure where these so called facts come from but I can tell you that so far it really is not all that bad and Im not worrying about getting to the finish line on this. Questions or concerns e mail me anytime

  5. #5 sam
    January 23, 2012

    Im on the treatment and it is not bad at all.If you read all the BS like I did beforehand youll be very scared and prob will not do it . Any questions e mail me I will give you first hand blow by blow postings

  6. #6 BoxNDox
    January 23, 2012

    Folks, please remember that the plural of anecdote is not data. You may have had an easy time of it but believe me when I say that’s not always the case. I have had two friends go through it, one of them twice. The guy who had it done twice felt like complete crap the entire time but nevertheless managed to work full time as an electrician throughout both courses.

    The other fellow did much worse; it made him so sick he was forced to discontinue.

  7. #7 mark
    April 1, 2012

    Hi I finished the interferon & ribavirin treatment 12 mths ago and my hep is back
    I only found out a few weeks ago as I was very nervous going back to get my 6 mth result and kept putting it off
    I done it for the 48 week as I had geno type 1
    After the first 6 weeks my levels went from 16 million to 160 thousand which wad great I thought and was really hoping it would stay away when it became undetectable
    Now that I have found out it is back the question on my mind is,
    Is there anything else available out there that my doctor will of can try ?

  8. #8 debra torres
    April 3, 2012

    I went thru 3 t it came back much to my sutprise…my dr told me to stop all meds. i was so disapointedave appt. coming up end of July.Liver is a little aggrvated. I am scarred a lot. please pray my dr will get me out of this disease..

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