News from Hepatitis Week of July 6, 2003 / Vol. 3 No. 27

Study: Half of Cirrhosis Patients Respond to Pegasys and Ribavirin

The largest-ever analysis of data on hepatitis C patients with cirrhosis, or advanced liver disease, concluded that half of them respond to treatment with Pegasys in combination with Copegus (ribavirin), according to results presented at the 38th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver.

Dr. Patrick Marcellin, a hepatologist at the Hospital Beaujon in France, said a meta-analysis of two Phase-III Pegasys combination studies involving hepatitis C patients with cirrhosis found that:

  • Among those treated with a standard dose of Pegasys plus 1000/1200 mg of ribavirin for 48 weeks, 49 percent achieved a sustained viral response, as compared to 33 percent who received conventional combination therapy;
  • Among those who also had the genotype 1 virus -- the most difficult to treat but most common form of hepatitis C -- 38 percent achieved a sustained viral response using Pegasys combination therapy versus 25 percent with conventional combination therapy.
  • Among those with genotype 2/3 virus, the rate of cure rose to 72 percent with Pegasys combination therapy versus 45 percent with conventional combination therapy.

Other sources: Roche