An IL28B polymorphism determines treatment response of hepatitis C virus genotype 2 or 3 patients who do not achieve a rapid virologic response

Alessandra Mangia, Alexander J Thompson, Rosanna Santoro, Valeria Piazzolla, Hans L Tillmann, Keyur Patel, Kevin V Shianna, Leonardo Mottola, Daniela Petruzzellis, Donato Bacca, Vito Carretta, Nicola Minerva, David B Goldstein, John G McHutchison
Gastroenterology 2010, 139 (3): 821-7, 827.e1

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Polymorphisms in the region of the interleukin (IL)-28B gene on chromosome 19 have been associated with peginterferon-alfa-induced clearance of genotype 1 hepatitis C virus (HCV); there are no data for patients with genotype 2 or 3 HCV. We evaluated the effects of IL-28B polymorphisms on response to treatment with peginterferon and ribavirin in a well-characterized cohort of genotype 2/3 patients.

METHODS: DNA was analyzed from 268 patients (Caucasian: genotype 2, 213; genotype 3, 55). Patients were randomly assigned to groups that received standard duration (24 wk; n = 68) or variable durations of therapy. Patients who received variable durations (VD) and had a rapid virologic response (RVR) were treated for 12 weeks (VD12; n = 122); those without an RVR were treated for 24 weeks (VD24; n = 78). IL-28B genotypes (rs12979860) were analyzed for association with treatment response.

RESULTS: The frequencies of the IL-28B genotypes were as follows: CC, 37%; CT, 48%; and TT, 15%; 82% of patients with the CC genotype achieved a sustained virologic response (SVR), compared with 75% with the CT and 58% with the TT genotypes (P = .0046). Differences between IL-28B genotypes were greatest among patients who failed to attain RVR (VD24 SVR rates: CC, 87%; CT, 67%; and TT, 29%; P = .0002). Among patients with RVRs (61%), the IL-28B genotype was not associated with SVR (>70% for all IL-28B genotypes). In a multivariable logistic regression model, IL-28B genotype predicted SVR (odds ratio, 1.76; 95% confidence interval, 1.16-2.7).

CONCLUSIONS: An IL-28B polymorphism was associated with an SVR in patients infected with genotype 2/3 HCV who did not achieve a RVR. Analysis of IL-28B genotype might be used to guide treatment for these patients.

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