Hepatitis C chronically infects ≃ 1.5% of Americans and is the most common clinical problem facing hepatologists. Since the virus was initially described in 1989, development of an effective therapy has been challenging. Although several different therapeutic agents have been used, no therapy has been shown to reliably eradicate the virus. Interferon-alpha, a cytokine with immunostimulatory and anti-viral properties, has become the therapy of choice for patients with chronic hepatitis C infection. Trials assessing the efficacy of interferon-alpha have characterized host and viral factors predictive of responses to treatment. A thorough understanding of these predictive factors is requisite to providing cost-effective therapeutic decisions for the patient with chronic hepatitis C infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)