Published online Aug 28, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i32.9526
Peer-review started: March 16, 2015
First decision: May 18, 2015
Revised: May 27, 2015
Accepted: July 18, 2015
Article in press: July 18, 2015
Published online: August 28, 2015
The goal of therapy in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is sustained virological response (SVR) which reflects HCV eradication. Treatment against HCV has dramatically improved with the recent availability of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) including sofosbuvir, simeprevir, daclatasvir, ledipasvir/sofosbuvir, paritaprevir/ombitasvir and dasabuvir. Carefully selected combinations of these DAAs offer the potential for highly effective all-oral safe regimens even for patients with decompensated cirrhosis or liver transplant (LT) recipients. Like all current protease inhibitors, simeprevir and paritaprevir should not be used in patients with Child C cirrhosis, while sofosbuvir and ledipasvir/sofosbuvir should not be given in patients with severe renal impairment and glomerular filtration rate less than 30 mL/min. Drug-drug interactions may still occur with the current DAAs particularly in post-LT patients, in whom simeprevir should not be co-administered with cyclosporine and dose adjustments of calcineurin inhibitors are required in case of regimens including the ritonavir boosted paritaprevir. Phase II clinical trials and real life cohort studies have shown that sofosbuvir based combinations are safe and can achieve improvements of clinical status, high SVR rates and even prevention of post-LT HCV recurrence in patients with decompensated cirrhosis or LT-candidates. In the post-LT setting, sofosbuvir based regimens and the combination of paritaprevir/ombitasvir and dasabuvir have been reported to be safe and achieve high SVR rates, similar to those in non-transplant patients, being effective even in cases with cholestatic fibrosing hepatitis. Ongoing clinical trials and rapidly emerging real life data will further clarify the safety and efficacy of the new regimens in these settings.
Core tip: Treatment against hepatitis C virus has dramatically improved with the novel direct-acting antivirals (DAAs). The currently available DAAs are sofosbuvir, simeprevir, daclatasvir, ledipasvir/sofosbuvir, paritaprevir/ombitasvir and dasabuvir. IFN-free combinations of these novel DAAs with or without ribavirin give excellent sustained virological response in patients with decompensated cirrhosis awaiting liver transplantation and those with recurrence of hepatitis C post liver transplantation. More data regarding the safety and efficacy of these new DAAs are needed, but ongoing clinical trials and real life data will clarify better these issues.