The addition of Boceprevir and telaprevir to the current treatment of chronic HCV represents a significant advance in our ability to help patients with this chronic liver disease. For the first time treatment will cure more patients of HCV than it fails to cure. Boceprevir and telaprevir will be effective not only in patients who have not been previously treated, but in patients who have failed to be cured during a previous course of peginterferon and ribavirin. Of greatest importance is that the vast majority of patients will be able to achieve these high rates of cure, in most cases exceeding approaching 70%, even though the duration of therapy is reduced form by 5 months – from 48 to 28 weeks.
Although Boceprevir and telaprevir are great advances and will help many of our patients, the development of these drugs is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to treating liver diseases. At least 10 other anti-viral agents like Boceprevir and telaprevir are currently being tested by several pharmaceutical companies. Many of these medications are being evaluated at the Liver Institute of Virginia and many patients may be eligible and wish to be treated in clinical trials with these new medications.
Dr Shiffman and his staff at the Liver Institute have extensive experience treating patients with chronic HCV. Dr Shiffman is one of the world’s key opinion leaders on how to best treat chronic HCV and is a consultant to numerous pharmaceutical companies, which are in the process of developing these new and improved treatments for chronic HCV.