Results from the largest hepatitis C virus (HCV) trial ever conducted in the U.S. were presented at the Digestive Disease Week (DDW) Annual Meeting, May 20-25, 2006 in Los Angeles. The purpose of the trial was to study the efficacy of PEG-INTRON® (peginterferon alfa-2b) and REBETOL® (ribavirin, USP) combination therapy in HCV-infected patients.
The study took into account predictive factors such as patient genotype (genetic makeup) and viral load (concentration of virus in blood), degree of liver fibrosis and cirrhosis, cigarette smoking and prior exposure to HCV treatment. Among the more notable findings was that patients who were treated using a weight-based dosing of ribavirin in combination with peginterferon alfa-2b achieved considerably better outcomes than those given the combination therapy based on a flat dose.
The WIN-R (Weight-Based Dosing of PEG-INTRON® and REBETOL®) study was a community-based trial that enrolled 4,913 HCV patients at 225 sites nationwide. The study was supported by the Schering-Plough Corporation and monitored by the Schering-Plough Research Institute. PEG-INTRON® and REBETOL® are both registered trademarks of Schering-Plough.
"These WIN-R findings help us better understand how to optimize hepatitis C treatment for our patients and how certain patient characteristics affect response to therapy in real-world community settings," said principal investigator Ira M. Jacobson, MD, Vincent Astor Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, and Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Co-principal investigator was Robert S. Brown Jr., MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Medicine and Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and Chief of Clinical Hepatology and Medical Director of the Center of Liver Disease and Transplantation at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.
Source: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital news release dated May 24, 2006