(RxWiki News) It appears that a major breakthrough has occured in the treatment of a chronic liver disease. Remission looks to be a real possibility when telaprevir (Incivek) is combined with standard treatment for hepatitis C.
A Cornell based clinical trial has shown tremendous results when hepatitis C is used in conjunction with current standard protocol treatment resulting in cure in 75 percent of the patients.
"If you have hepatitis C, ask your doctor if you should be taking Incivek."
Ira M. Jacobson, M.D., Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Vincent Astor Distinguished Professor of Clinical Medicine, Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University, said "our number one goal is to cure HCV in all patients with a combination of fast-acting and well-tolerated drugs that have direct action against the virus or, in some cases, target factors in the host that boost the immune system to disallow HCV replication or its consequent liver disease. Excitingly, lives are going to be spared."
Dr. Jacobson served as principal investigator in the ADVANCE clinical trial where 1,088 untreated patients diagnosed with HCV genotype 1 were randomly assigned to one of three treatments: standard therapy for 48 weeks, telaprevir combined with standard therapy for 8 weeks followed by standard therapy for 24 weeks, or telaprevir for 12 weeks followed by standard therapy for 24 weeks.
The researchers found that sustained virologic response occurred in significantly more patients receiving 12 weeks (75 percent) or 8 weeks (69 percent) of telaprevir than with standard therapy alone (44 percent).
Note: The drug's package insert reflects higher SVR rates of 79 percent, 72 percent, and 46 percent, respectively, arising from revised analyses. In all, 58 percent of Incivek-treated patients received 24 weeks of total treatment.
Their study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, led to approval of the agent for patient use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on May 23.