University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, UNC Liver Center, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Recently developed drugs and innovative strategies for the treatment of chronic infection with genotype 1 hepatitis C virus (HCV) have become the standard of care. The protease inhibitors telaprevir (Incivek) and boceprevir (Victrelis) are the first direct-acting antiviral (DAA) agents approved, and many more are being developed. These drugs substantially increased rates of sustained virologic response in treatment-naïve and -experienced patients, in conjunction with peginterferon and ribavirin (triple therapy), in phase 3 trials. The efficacy of triple therapy depends on appropriate selection of patients, although the population of patients that receive triple therapy could be expanded as the risk/benefit ratio improves. Attention to details that reflect the standard of care, such as appropriate dosing, anticipation of adverse effects, and strict adherence to stopping rules, will insure the success of these drugs and lead the way for new combination therapies.