The Future of Dual Therapy for Hepatitis C Virus

Francesco Azzaroli; Marco Montagnani; Alberto Porro; Domenico Fiorillo; Giuseppe Mazzella


Future Virology. 2014;9(10):905-912. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Treatment of hepatitis C is rapidly changing. It began with IFN monotherapy; then the addition of ribavirin doubled the rate of response and pegylation of IFN further improved it. The development of direct-acting antivirals has brought up combinations of even three or more drugs with the aim of reaching the 100% response rate. However, the development of potent direct-acting antivirals with high barrier to resistance gives the possibility of reaching this aim with just two drugs. This review will focus on dual therapy moving on from the past to the near future.


According to current knowledge, hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection frequently results in a chronic hepatitis potentially leading to liver cirrhosis or hepatocarcinoma. A recent review of epidemiological data report that about 185 million people worldwide are infected with HCV and WHO (fact sheet no. 164) states that about 350,000–500,000 die each year of hepatitis C-related liver disease. HCV infection is the primary cause of end-stage liver disease, liver cancer and liver transplantation in western countries.[1]

In light of the global burden of hepatitis C, numerous efforts in preventing and treating the disease have been done. In particular, drug treatment of hepatitis C has seen a considerable evolution over the years starting from IFN monotherapy to a variety of combination treatments. In this review, we will focus on dual combination treatments for chronic hepatitis C.