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Chronic hepatitis C (CHC) remains frequent in dialysis patients.1 Currently, interferon (IFN) monotherapy is the standard of care for dialysis CHC patients.2 In a previous paper published in the journal, we demonstrated that treatment with weekly pegylated IFNα-2a had a significantly higher sustained virological response (SVR) rate than that with thrice weekly standard IFNα-2a in such patients (48% vs 20%, p = 0.02).3 Although dialysis CHC patients responded better to IFN monotherapy than those with normal renal function, the overall SVR rates are far from satisfactory.4 5
Retreatment with pegylated IFN plus ribavirin in ordinary CHC patients who relapsed from prior standard IFN had an SVR rate of 52%.6 Among these patients, the SVR rates for genotype 1 and 2/3 patients were 47% and 63%, respectively. Although ribavirin is contraindicated in dialysis CHC patients for the risk of …
Funding: The study was supported by grants from the National Taiwan University Hospital; the National Science Council, and Department of Health, Executive Yuan, Taiwan.
Competing interests: Pei-Jer Chen is a consultant for Norvartis and Roche. Ding-Shinn Chen is a consultant for Norvartis and GlaxoSmithKline. Jia-Horng Kao has received recent research funding for Vitagenomics; is a consultant for Bristol–Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Norvartis, Omrix, Roche, and Schering-Plough; and on the speaker’s bureau for Roche, Bristol–Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Norvartis and Schering–Plough. All other authors have no competing interests.
Ethics approval: This study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee, National Taiwan University Hospital, on 13 April 2006