Meta-analysis: IL-28B genotype and sustained viral clearance in HCV genotype 1 patients

A S Rangnekar, R J Fontana
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 2012, 36 (2): 104-14

BACKGROUND: Polymorphisms in the IL-28B region are a strong predictor of sustained virologic response (SVR) in individual studies of HCV genotype 1 patients receiving peginterferon (pegIFN) and ribavirin.

AIM: To obtain a pooled odds ratio (OR) of SVR in patients of varying race with the favourable IL-28B genotype compared to those with the unfavourable genotype.

METHODS: A literature search was conducted using online databases and a review of conference abstracts. A random effects meta-analysis was performed and study heterogeneity and publication bias were assessed.

RESULTS: There were 21 individual studies of HCV genotype 1 patients of varying ethnicity treated with pegIFN and ribavirin. The pooled prevalence of the favourable IL-28B genotype varied by race (73% vs. 41% vs. 13% in 2612 Asians, 3110 Caucasians and 452 African-Americans, respectively, P < 0.001). However, the strength of association of the IL-28B genotype with SVR was similar in all three racial groups (Caucasians: odds ratio (OR) 3.88, 2.75-5.49, African-Americans: OR 4.63, 2.52-8.50 and Asians OR 5.66, 3.99-8.02, all P < 0.001). The IL-28B genotype was also associated with SVR in 263 HIV/HCV co-infected Caucasians (OR 5.49, 3.02-9.96, P < 0.001). Study quality score and anti-viral treatment regimen did not impact the strength of the association in patient subgroups nor in the pooled population.

CONCLUSIONS: IL-28B genotype is significantly associated with SVR in HCV genotype 1 patients of varying race, as well as in HIV co-infected patients, receiving pegIFN and ribavirin. IL-28B testing in conjunction with other pre-treatment parameters may prove useful in counselling HCV patients.

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