Background. Treatment of genotype 1 hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection with combination directly acting antivirals (DAA) for 8–24 weeks is associated with high rates of sustained virologic response (SVR). We previously demonstrated that adding a third DAA to ledipasvir and sofosbuvir (LDV/SOF) can result in high SVR rates in patients without cirrhosis. In this study, we investigated whether a similar regimen would yield equivalent rates of cure in patients with advanced liver fibrosis.
Methods. Fifty patients were enrolled at the Clinical Research Center of the National Institutes of Health and associated healthcare centers. Enrollment and follow-up data from April 2014 to June 2015 are reported here. Eligible participants were aged ≥18 years, had chronic HCV genotype 1 infection (serum HCV RNA ≥2000 IU/mL), and stage 3–4 liver fibrosis. HCV RNA was measured using a reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction assay.
Results. Of patients treated with LDV, SOF, and the NS3/4A protease inhibitor GS-9451 for 6 weeks, 76% (38 of 50; 95% confidence interval, 60%–85%) had SVR achieved 12 weeks after the end of treatment. There was no statistically significant difference in treatment efficacy between treatment-naive patients (72%, 18 of 25) and those with treatment experience (80%; 20 of 25) (P = .51). Overall, 11 patients (22%) experienced virologic relapse, and 1 (2%) was lost to follow-up at 4 weeks after treatment. No serious adverse events, discontinuations, or deaths were associated with this regimen.
Conclusions. Adding a third DAA to LDV/SOF may result in a moderate SVR rate, lower than that observed in patients without cirrhosis. Significant liver fibrosis remains an impediment to achieving SVR with short-duration DAA therapy.
Chinese Clinical Trials Registration. CT01805882.