From the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Birmingham, Alabama, and the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham.
ABSTRACT: Telaprevir and boceprevir have received US Food and Drug Administration approval for use as triple therapy with pegylated interferon and ribavirin in genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Clinical trials of these agents included few African Americans, despite the overwhelming need for improved therapies in this racial group. Although African Americans are predicted to have improved response rates with this new treatment paradigm, clinical trials illustrate lower rates of sustained virologic response for this racial group versus whites. African Americans with genotype 1 HCV infection appear to require longer durations of therapy than do whites to achieve a sustained virologic response. Further investigation is required to adequately counsel African Americans with genotype 1 chronic HCV infection on the efficacy of telaprevir and boceprevir in their racial group. Increased participation of this racial group in HCV clinical trials is needed to improve therapies in this difficult-to-treat population.