Identifying the impact of a patient's ethnicity on treatment responses in clinical practice may assist in providing individualized treatment regimens for chronic hepatitis C (CHC). The effectiveness of standard peginterferon plus ribavirin therapy and the need for triple combination therapy with protease inhibitors in Koreans remain matters of debate. These issues were investigated in the present study. The clinical data of 272 treatment-naïve Korean CHC patients who were treated in a community-based clinical trial (Clinical Trial group; n=51) and in clinical practice (Cohort group; n=221), were analyzed and compared. All were treated with standard protocols of peginterferon alfa-2a plus ribavirin therapy. For patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1, the sustained virological response (SVR) rates in the Clinical Trial and Cohort groups were 81% (21/26) and 55% (58/106), respectively, by intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis (P=0.02), and 100% (13/13) and 80% (32/40), respectively, in treatment-adherent patients (P=0.18). For patients with HCV genotype 2, the SVR rates in these two groups were 96% (24/25) and 88% (101/115), respectively, by ITT analysis (P=0.31). Adherence and treatment duration were independent predictors of SVR for genotypes 1 and 2, respectively (P<0.01 for each). Korean patients with CHC achieved high SVR rates with peginterferon alfa-2a plus ribavirin in both the clinical trial and clinical practice settings. Measures to raise adherence to standard therapy in clinical practice may improve the SVR rates in these patients as effectively as adding protease inhibitors, thus obviating the need for the latter.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology