Hepatitis C: Less Treatment OK for Some
Study Shows Successful Outcomes for Patients Who Quit Drug Therapy Early
Customizing HCV Treatment
Both studies suggest that customizing treatment length based on early therapeutic responses could improve patient cure rates.
University of North Carolina hepatitis C expert Michael W. Fried, MD, agrees, but he adds that more research is needed to better understand how to best tailor treatments based on patient responses.
He points out that response rates were slightly better among early responders treated for the recommended times in both studies.
Fried is a professor of medicine and director of hepatology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
"Response rates were similar, but they were not identical," he says. "There was still about a 10% drop in sustained responses among patients treated for shorter periods."
Fried says the findings may have the biggest implications for patients who respond to treatment but have trouble staying on it.
"People who are not tolerating treatment well or who may be anxious to stop may be able to stop early without too much risk," he says.