Does epoetin beta still have a place in peginterferon alpha-2a plus ribavirin treatment strategies for chronic hepatitis C?

Department of Virology, University Hospital of Angers , Angers, France .

Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research. 2016;36((3)):204-14.
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To investigate the impact of epoetin beta (EPO) on sustained virological response (SVR) in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients treated with peginterferon-ribavirin (RBV). Controlled, randomized, pragmatic multicenter study to assess 2 strategies, ie, the use (EPO group) or nonuse (control group) of EPO in terms of achieving SVR in treatment-naive, genotype non-2/non-3 HCV-infected patients receiving a 48-week treatment regimen of pegylated interferon alpha-2a (peg-IFN) plus RBV (randomization 2:1). The single-nucleotide polymorphisms of interferon lambda 3 (IFNL3) (rs12979860 and rs8099917), interferon lambda 4 (IFNL4) (ss469415590), and inosine triphosphatase (ITPA) (rs1127354 and rs7270101) were determined retrospectively. Two hundred twenty-seven patients were included in the study. In the global population (n=227), the overall SVR rate was 52% (118/227). Nonresponse and relapse occurred in respectively 46/227 (20.3%) and 42/227 (18.5%) patients. In the intention-to-treat analysis, 55.5% of patients with anemia (n=164) had a SVR, specifically 57.4% in the EPO group versus 52.4% in the control group, but the difference was not statistically significant. In the anemic population, independent factors associated with SVR were IFNL3 and IFNL4 polymorphisms, pretreatment HCV RNA level, iron level, and aspartate aminotransferase/alanine aminotransferase (AST/ALT) ratio. EPO has little impact on SVR in patients treated with peg-IFN+RBV and should be recommended only for patients with severe anemia.
Study details
Language : English
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