12 of 20 African American prior null responders (60%) achieved undetectable HCV RNA at week 12 of triple therapy.
Adding the HCV protease inhibitor telaprevir (Incivek) to pegylated
interferon and ribavirin increased end-of-treatment response rates for
difficult-to-treat patients including African-Americans who previously
did not respond to interferon, according to study results presented at
the recent 20th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections
(CROI 2013)in Atlanta.
The advent of direct-acting antiviral agents has brought about a new
paradigm of hepatitis C treatment, especially for patients who do not
respond well to standard interferon-based therapy. These include people
of African descent and prior null responders who saw little or no
decrease in HCV RNA (< 2 log) with previous treatment. Research has
shown that the effects of race and prior non-response are largely
attributable to unfavorable IL28B gene patterns.