Multicenter experience using telaprevir or boceprevir with peginterferon and ribavirin to treat hepatitis C genotype 1 after liver transplantation

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The safety, efficacy, and effect on immunosuppression levels of telaprevir (TVR) or boceprevir (BOC) in combination with peginterferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin (RBV) in recipients of liver transplantation (LT) with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 have not been defined. We report our 3 centers' preliminary experiences with administering triple antiviral treatment protocols containing PEG-IFN, RBV, and TVR or BOC. Patients with biopsy-proven HCV recurrence (METAVIR grade ≥ 3 and/or stage ≥ 2) received TVR with PEG-IFN/RBV for 12 weeks and then PEG-IFN/RBV for 36 weeks or BOC with PEG-IFN/RBV for 44 weeks after 4 weeks of lead-in PEG-IFN/RBV. Maintenance immunosuppression was changed to cyclosporine whenever possible, and the levels were followed closely. PEG-IFN/RBV dose adjustments were based on patients' tolerance. Sixty patients started triple antiviral treatment, and they were followed for up to 66 weeks (mean = 35 weeks); all were followed at least 12 weeks. Thirty of the 35 patients treated with TVR (86%) achieved undetectable HCV RNA levels after an average of 6 weeks, whereas 12 patients (48%) in the BOC-treated group achieved undetectable HCV RNA levels after a mean of 11 weeks. According to an intention-to-treat analysis, 14 of 21 TVR-treated patients (67%) and 10 of 22 patients who received BOC (45%) achieved undetectable HCV RNA levels at week 24 without viral breakthrough at the last follow-up. Cytopenias complicated both regimens; all patients required dose reductions of PEG-IFN and/or RBV or the administration of hematological growth factors. One death occurred in each group on triple antiviral treatment. In conclusion, TVR or BOC combined with PEG-IFN/RBV achieved on-treatment virological response rates of approximately 50% to 60% in patients with recurrent HCV after LT, but significant side effects were common. Liver Transpl 19:690–700, 2013. © 2013 AASLD.

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