Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York.
Within the last year, the landscape of therapy for genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) has changed dramatically as 2 much-anticipated protease inhibitors became available for use. These agents, telaprevir and boceprevir, when used in combination with pegylated interferon and ribavirin, offer patients an improved chance of cure and the opportunity for a shorter duration of therapy. Although these medications represent a significant achievement in the battle against HCV, they do not represent the final phase in the evolution of HCV therapy. Many other direct-acting antiviral agents representing several classes, as well as agents that act via host-mediated pathways, are in development. Recent proof of concept studies demonstrating the capacity to eradicate HCV without interferon signal the potential for yet another quantum leap in the field.