Eradication of Hepatitis C Virus in Patients Successfully Treated for Chronic Hepatitis C.
Maylin S, Martinot-Peignoux M, Moucari R, Boyer N, Ripault MP, Cazals-Hatem D, Giuily N, Castelnau C, Cardoso AC, Asselah T, Féray C, Nicolas-Chanoine MH, Bedossa P, Marcellin P.
Université Paris VII, Hôpital Beaujon, Clichy, France; Service de Microbiologie, Hôpital Beaujon, Clichy, France; INSERM U-773, Centre de Recherche Biomédicale Bichat-Beaujon CRB3, Hôpital Beaujon, Clichy, France.
BACKGROUND & AIMS: It is unclear whether hepatitis C virus (HCV) is eradicated in patients with chronic hepatitis C who achieved a sustained virologic response (SVR). METHODS: In this long-term follow-up study, including chronic hepatitis C patients who achieved SVR after interferon-based therapy, the presence of residual HCV RNA in serum, liver, and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was assessed, using transcription-mediated amplification (sensitivity, <9.6 IU/mL). The benefit of SVR on liver fibrosis was evaluated using the METAVIR score. RESULTS: A total of 344 patients were followed up for a median duration of 3.27 years (range, 0.50-18 y; interquartile range [IQR], 1.68-5.35 y). A total of 114 patients had a posttreatment liver tissue (median, 0.50 y; range, 0-14 y; IQR, 0-3.5 y), 156 had PBMCs (median, 3.0 y; range, 0.50-18 y; IQR, 1.25-5.50 y). Serum HCV RNA remained undetectable (1300 samples), indicating that none of the patients had a relapse. HCV RNA was detectable in 2 of 114 (1.7%) liver specimens, and in none of 156 PBMC specimens. Histologic analysis of 126 paired pretreatment and posttreatment liver biopsy specimens (median, 0.50 y; range, 0-14; IQR, 0-3.5) showed that fibrosis stage was improved in 56%, stable in 32%, deteriorated in 12%. Regression of cirrhosis was observed in 9 of 14 (64%) (CI, 39-89) patients. No cirrhosis decompensation was observed, and 3 patients developed hepatocellular carcinoma. CONCLUSIONS: In this large cohort of chronic hepatitis C patients, SVR was durable up to 18 years after treatment cessation, in addition to fibrosis stability/improvement (88%) and cirrhosis regression (64%). The presence of residual HCV RNA was observed only in liver tissue (1.7%). This result strongly suggests that SVR may be considered to show eradication of HCV infection.
Wow - wow - wow. Wow - wow - wow.
Those results are simply STAGGERING!!!!!
Eradication, what a LOVELY LOVELY word! :)
Thanks for the abstract mike, interesting. You you have a link and a date for that study? Just curious when it was completed, thanks...
Also here's another one from last year. Probably already been posted before, but in the spirit of eradication/cure, here it is again. And yes - I know one of you out there is just seethingly CHAMPING at the bit reading this info. And you know who you are cybersquatsch! ;-)
Pegasys Study Authors Conclude that Patients Successfully Treated for Hepatitis C Can be Considered ''Cured''; Mitch Shiffman says 'you can cure HCV', Eugene Schiff says 'get treated'.
Reported by Jules Levin
DDW, May 22, 2007, Washington DC
The findings were to be presented Monday at the 38th annual Digestive Disease Week conference, in Washington, D.C. (They were presented first at EASL last month).
"This paper strongly suggests, for the first time, that hepatitis C is a curable disease," said lead researcher Dr. Mitchell Shiffman, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and chief of hepatology and medical director of the school's Liver Transplant Program. "After treatment, 99.6 percent of the patients remained virus undetectable for over five years," he added.
"This is the first long-term study that confirms what we believed for many years that these individuals are truly cured of hepatitis C," Shiffman said.
Most people who have hepatitis C don't know they have it, Shiffman said. "Of those who have been diagnosed, only about 25 percent have received treatment, because of the side effects of treatment," he said. "The reason why you should treat it is because you can cure hepatitis C, and we finally have the data to definitively document it."
Dr. Eugene Schiff, chief of the division of hepatology and professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, agrees that most cases of hepatitis C can be cured.
"In contrast to hepatitis B or HIV, this virus can be totally eradicated and cured," he said.
But, many patients find the side effects of treatment off-putting. Those side effects can include fever and chills, Shiff said. "You feel pretty lousy. After treatment starts, you feel worse the day after your shot, but it tapers off over the course of the week," he said. "Along with that anxiety, irritability and depression can develop. And we are quick to use antidepressants to allow these people to stay on the medication."
Additional side effects include a drop in the production of white blood cells and anemia. Often patients are giving additional drugs to combat these conditions, Shiff said.
Treatments can go on for as many as 72 weeks, depending on the reaction to therapy Shiff said. "Some people are reluctant to get treatment, because they heard that the treatment isn't so pleasant," he said. "But they should come out and get treatment."
Schiff noted that new antiviral drugs to treat hepatitis C are being tested. "It is hoped that these new antivirals will be more effective and have less severe side effects and may even be used without peginterferon alfa-2a or ribavirin," he said.
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 21, 2007 - Results from a new study, presented at the 38th annual Digestive Disease Week (DDW) conference, showed that more than 99 percent of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection who were treated successfully with PEGASYS(R) (peginterferon alfa-2a) had no detectable virus up to seven years later - validating the use of the word "cured" to describe these patients, according to study authors. Currently, the best indicator of treatment success is a sustained viral response (SVR), defined as undetectable hepatitis C virus in the blood six months after the end of treatment. The results announced today are from a long-term follow-up study to determine whether the virus re-emerges in patients who achieve an SVR. (Studies show that, overall, about half of patients with hepatitis C monoinfection can achieve an SVR with PEGASYS and ribavirin treatment, the current standard of care.)
"The results announced today are encouraging because it is rare in the treatment of life-threatening viral diseases that can we tell patients they have the chance for a cure," said Dr. Mitchell L. Shiffman, Professor of Medicine, Chief of Hepatology and Medical Director of the Liver Transplant Program, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, and study author. "But in hepatitis C today, we are able to help some patients achieve an outcome that effectively enables them to put their disease behind them."
About the Study (Abstract ID #444)
This study monitored 997 patients (either mono-infected with chronic HCV or co-infected HCV and HIV) who achieved an SVR following treatment with PEGASYS monotherapy or combination therapy with PEGASYS and ribavirin. Serum levels of HCV were monitored on an annual basis for an average of 4.1 years (range 0.4 to 7 years) following successful treatment. Of the 997 patients, 989 (greater than 99 percent) maintained undetectable levels of HCV; the remaining eight patients tested positive for HCV, at an average of two years following the completion of treatment. The study found that these eight patients exhibited no consistency in age, gender or HCV genotype, and it has not been determined if these patients experienced a relapse or if they were re-infected with HCV.
"We at Roche are proud to be able to offer some hepatitis C patients the prospect of such a positive outcome with our currently-available therapies, but we also recognize the urgent need to further improve response rates," said Tom Klein, Vice President, Hepatology, Roche. "In addition to ongoing research with PEGASYS, Roche has the most comprehensive pipeline in the area, with four compounds currently in human development that target the virus in a number of different ways. The development of R1626 and partnerships with InterMune, Maxygen and Pharmasset, all underscore our long-term commitment to finding effective new therapies with the goal of successfully treating more patients with chronic hepatitis C."
Thanks. May 2008 from Gastroenterology: recent and authoritative.
I am not as confident as you that every trace of HCV is necessarily eradicated once SVR is achieved. I believe that in some SVRs that may be the case but I suspect that in many SVRs HCV traces remain. The fact that I do believe this in no way suggests that I do not think SVR is a very very good thing. I think the evidence is clear and convincing that once SVR is achieved the vast majority of patients' liver function improves and their liver architecture stabilizes or improves and they decrease significantly their risk of developing HCC.
If people equate SVR with "cured" and "complete eradication" I think that's fine and I don't see a risk in believing that. I just think otherwise. I rarely see biopsies post SVR that would convince me that it is likely that the virus is absolutely eradicated.
not at all sure there's anything new here.
1) SVR = cure has never been seriously challenged; residual virus clearly does not trigger anything like the damage of unchecked infection. Which does not mean it triggers no damage - there is some evidence of this, but it's scarce
2) SVR is durable has also never been seriously challenged though again there is scant evidence of occasional resurgence
3) SVR=viral eradication is a much more open ended and controversial issue. We now have 3 recent papers refuting detection of post-SVR HCV RNA is PBMCs. The one above along with
vs the collection of papers, mostly out of the Pham, Radkowski, and Castillo labs collected in TN' health page. As best I can tell, the discrepancy is mostly due to technical issues related to different detection methods. The Pham/Michalak lab's discussion of methods is quite insistent that mitogen stimulation of PBMCs is essential to bring the trace levels of occult-HCV up to detectable levels. I Haven't read the most recent Maylin'08 paper in detail yet, but neither of the other two papers above applied that part of the protocol (Bernardin acknowledged the omission). Some response from the Pham/Michalak lab to the recent refutation is presumably forthcoming; at this point there's still much more evidence against total eradication than in support of it, and that's where I'd place my bet (note that even the Maylin'08 paper found post-SVR RNA in 2/114 liver samples)
As scientific skirmishes go, it's very interesting stuff, but whether eradication or lack of it has any significant bearing on one's health decisions seems unlikely.
I've never seen anything in Pham's papers that rule out the presence of HCV Rna particles due to adsorption. This is a critical step to further any hypothesis about residual HCV rna particles.
I don't understand. Would you explain it further?
HR talked some time ago about the lenghts one of his labs went through to prevent cross contamination resulting in false positives on sensitive TMAs, even to the point where different steps were performed at two different labs which were physically apart and where I even believe workers were not supposed to socialize with each other.
Perhaps then, what Mr. Liver is suggesting, is that some of Pham's findings may be the result of some sort of contamination/lab procedure, as opposed to an actual finding of HCV.
Before the flame throwing begins :) I'm not suggesting in any way, nor do I of course have any knowledge that this is occuring, but I imagine that as your testing becomes more and more sensitive, contamination would become more of an issue. Perhaps Pham's procedures are bulletproof, really dont know.
Well, at least I have an idea of what he was referring to. I never get upset with different opinions about this stuff Jim. SVR/Cure/Complete Eradication isn't a trigger point for me. It's a complex issue.
I concur with you completely. I have no real conviction one way or the other, but would like to see more rigorous studies, and get a better consensus down the road from ALL the top researchers regarding this issue. They all seem to be at odds with each other, and I want to keep an open mind, and just find out the real truths about eradication/persistence. I feel no attachment to either point of view, and in fact would LOVE to see 'eradication' fully, finally, and unanimously be proven and acknowledged by the entire research community.