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Efficacy of lead-in silibinin and subsequent triple therapy in difficult-to-treat HIV/hepatitis C virus-coinfected patients.

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Braun D L, Rauch A, Durisch N, Eberhard N, Anagnostopoulos A, Ledergerber B, Metzner K J, Böni J, Weber R, Fehr J,
Project Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS)
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal HIV medicine
Volume (Issue) 15(10)
Page(s) 625 - 30
Title of proceedings HIV medicine
DOI 10.1111/hiv.12166

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


The efficacy of current hepatitis C virus (HCV) triple therapy, including a protease inhibitor, is limited in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients with advanced liver fibrosis and nonresponse to previous peginterferon-ribavirin. These patients have a low chance (only 30%) of achieving a sustained virological response (SVR) during triple therapy and cannot wait for next-generation anti-HCV drugs. In a pilot study, we investigated the efficacy of a lead-in therapy with silibinin before triple therapy in difficult-to-treat patients. Inclusion criteria were HIV/HCV coinfection with advanced liver fibrosis and documented failure of previous peginterferon-ribavirin treatment. Intervention was lead-in therapy with intravenous silibinin 20 mg/kg/day for 14 days. Subsequently, peginterferon-ribavirin combined with telaprevir was initiated for 12 weeks, followed by peginterferon-ribavirin dual therapy until week 48 after initiation of triple therapy. The outcome measurements were HCV RNA after silibinin lead-in, at weeks 2, 4 and 12 of triple therapy, and SVR at week 24 after the end of treatment. We examined six HIV/HCV-coinfected patients (four infected with genotype 1a). All had fibrosis grade METAVIR ≥F3 and were on fully suppressive antiretroviral therapy. Mean HCV RNA decline after silibinin therapy was 2.6 log10 IU/mL (range 2-3 log10 IU/mL). Five of the six patients were virologically suppressed at weeks 2 and 4, and all six at week 12 of triple therapy. One experienced a viral breakthrough thereafter. Four of five patients (80%) showed an SVR 24. One patient had an SVR 12 but has not yet reached week 24. A lead-in with silibinin before triple therapy is highly effective and increases the probability of HCV treatment success in difficult-to-treat HIV/HCV-coinfected patients with advanced liver fibrosis and previous failure of peginterferon-ribavirin.