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Clinical round-up
  1. Mitesh Desai
  1. Correspondence to Mitesh Desai, Specialty Registrar in GUM, Lawson Unit, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton BN2 5BE, UK; mdesai.pub{at}gmail.com

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Additional boceprevir increases sustained virological response (SVR) rates in treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 infection

The findings of two phase 3, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials on the additional use of HCV serine protease inhibitor, boceprevir, with the current standard of therapy–pegylated interferon α-2b (peg-IFN) and weight-adjusted ribavirin (RBV)–have recently been published.

The treatment-naïve study1 stratified patients according to black and non-black ethnicity—based on known reduced SVR rates in black patients—and comprised three treatment arms, in all of which patients received a 4-week lead-in regimen of peg-IFN+RBV and subsequently received:

  • Group 1 (controls): peg-IFN+RBV+placebo (44 weeks) (n=311 non-black)

  • Group 2: peg-IFN+RBV+boceprevir (24 weeks) plus a further 20 weeks of peg-IFN+RBV if viral load was detectable between weeks 8 and 24 (n=316 non-black)

  • Group 3: peg-IFN+RBV+boceprevir (44 weeks) (n=213 non-black)

The respective SVR rates were significantly different between the control compared with the two treatment groups: 40% (controls), 67% (group 2, p<0.001) and 68% *group 3, p<0.001). While, the numbers …

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