The management of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) is a rapidly evolving field. New treatment paradigms are emerging due to an improved understanding of the host-viral interaction and the recent development of novel anti-viral therapies. Nevertheless, combination therapy with pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribarivin (RBV) remains the cornerstone of the treatment of CHC and will likely remain so for the foreseeable future. Over the past decade treatment regimens involving peginterferon plus ribavirin therapy have evolved from initial fixed dosing schedules to more recent individualized response-guided schedules that utilize on-treatment virological responses to determine treatment duration. The future of CHC treatment in the near to medium term is likely to involve the use of PEG-IFN and RBV in conjunction with potent and specific direct acting anti-viral agents (DAA) (protease +/- polymerase inhibitors). This review will focus on the use of PEG-IFN and RBV in the treatment of CHC as well as provide insight into how DAA agents may be used with this therapy as we enter the era of specifically targeted antiviral therapy for HCV.
- Chronic hepatitis C
- Response-guided therapy