Source: Abstract #THU-439 interferon-free therapy is effective and safe for hepatitis C recurrence in liver transplant hepatitis C virus/human immunodeficiency virus coinfected recipients: a case-control study- M.-C. Londoño, et al.
Study Aims and Results: Current studies show interferon-free treatments are successful and safe for monoinfected liver transplant recipients with hepatitis C. There are fewer examples looking at how successful direct acting antivirals are in HCV/HIV co-infected liver transplant recipients. This study focused on looking at the success and side effects of interferon-free treatment in a national cohort of HCV/HIV coinfected participants who had HCV return after transplantation. There were 38 HCV/HIV-coinfected and 133 HCV monoinfected liver transplant participants enrolled in the study. The two groups were fairly similar in gender, age, genotype, viral load, fibrosis stage and the amount of time from transplantation to treatment at 38 and 47 months. All coinfected participants were on HIV treatment; 84% had a RNA viral load of less than 50 copies/ml (undetectable) and a median white blood cell count of 367 cells/uL. For comparison, 1100-1400 white blood cells/ul is the range of someone who is not immunocompromised. The top three direct acting antiviral treatments that were used are as follows: ledipasvir + sofosbuvir ± ribavirin (RBV) (33%), simeprevir+ sofosbuvir ± RBV (31%), daclatasvir + sofosbuvir ± RBV (28%), simeprevir+daclatasvir ± RBV (5%), and AbbVie’s 3D (3%). More than half of each cohort received RBV. The treatment success was also close among the cohorts, with 92% of the coinfected group having a sustained virologic response 12 weeks post treatment (cure), and 96% of the monoinfected group. There were no serious side effects of treatment or differences in success related to genotype and advanced fibrosis.
Conclusion: This study was able to show interferon-free treatments for HIV-positive people who have had hepatitis C return are successful with few side effects. As important, this study showed that the success rates of interferon-free treatment were similar to hepatitis C monoinfected participants.
Editorial Comments: Tackling the issue of treatment for people who receive a liver transplant and have hepatitis C return is crucial to any elimination plan. This is important not only among monoinfected people but those who are coinfected with compromised immune systems. The closer we can get to a treatment that is effective on both cohorts and has fewer side effects, the more likely we are to eliminate hepatitis C and save lives. Most importantly, this study shows that even after liver transplants people can be treated.
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