Interferon-based combination treatment for chronic hepatitis C in the era of direct acting antivirals

Alexandra Alexopoulou, Peter Karayiannis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The development of protease inhibitors (PIs) such as telaprevir and boceprevir constitutes a milestone in chronic hepatitis C antiviral treatment since it has achieved sustained virological response (SVR) rates of up to 75% in naïve and 29-88% in treatment-experienced patients with genotype 1 infection. Both require combination treatment with pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) plus ribavirin (RBV) as PI monotherapy results in resistant mutations. New direct acting antiviral agents (DAAs) have recently been approved or their approval is imminent. Simeprevir administered orally as one pill per day in combination with PEG-IFN/RBV will be the next PI to be approved. The SVR rates at about 72-80% for treatment-naïve patients are not a major improvement over telaprevir or boceprevir. However, this treble combination has fewer side effects and drug-drug interactions and most patients undergo shorter treatment duration (24 months) due to earlier treatment responses. Sofosbuvir is the first available once-daily NS5B polymerase inhibitor which has been approved in combination with PEG-IFN/RBV for just 12 weeks with 89% SVR in treatment-naïve patients with genotype 1 infection and 83-100% in treatment-experienced patients with genotypes 2/3. The current review focuses on the recent rapid and continuous developments in the management of chronic HCV infection with DAAs in combination with PEG-IFN/RBV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-65
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Gastroenterology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Cyclophilin inhibitors
  • NS5A inhibitors
  • NS5B polymerase inhibitors
  • Pegylated interferon plus ribavirin
  • Protease inhibitors


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