Jorge L. Poo, Francisco Sánchez-Avila, David Kershenobich, Xochitl García Samper, Rocío Torres-Ibarra, Julieta Góngora, Carlos Cano, Miguel Parada, Misael Uribe
Background/Aims: Thymalfasin has shown efficacy in the treatment of chronic HCV infection. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of triple therapy with thymalfasin, peginterferon α-2a (PEG-IFN α-2a), and ribavirin in Hispanic patients with chronic viral hepatitis C who were nonresponders to prior treatment with interferon alfa (IFN-α)/ribavirin. Methods: In this open-label study, 40 subjects received thymalfasin (1.6 mg twice a week), PEG-IFN α- 2a (180 μg once a week), and ribavirin (800-1,000 mg/ day) for 48 weeks. All patients had positive HCV RNA by PCR analysis, abnormal levels of ALT, compensated hepatic disease, and liver biopsy with chronic damage. Results: Viral response was observed in 52.5% patients at week 12 and 50% at week 24. Of the per protocol group, 52.6% showed an end-of-treatment response at week 48 and 21.1% achieved an SVR at week 72. Among genotype 1 patients, 23.5% achieved an SVR at week 72. A reduction of the dose of PEG IFN α-2a and ribavirin was required. Thymalfasin was well tolerated without dose reduction. Conclusion: Triple therapy with thymalfasin, PEG IFN α-2a, and ribavirin is an effective treatment option for difficult-to-treat HCV patients who are refractory to prior conventional treatment, with adequate tolerability.
Key words. Chronic hepatitis C, thymosin alpha 1, thymalfasin, pegylated interferon, peginterferon Œ±-2a, ribavirin, triple therapy, nonresponders