The Impact of HAART on Response to Hepatitis C Treatment in Patients Taking Peginterferon Alpha-2b and Ribavirin
This study will evaluate how controlling HIV infection with HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy) affects the response to hepatitis C treatment with peginterferon alpha-2b and ribavirin in HIV-infected patients with chronic hepatitis C. HIV worsens liver disease caused by hepatitis C. Since treatment of HIV infection with HAART improves immune function, it may be beneficial to start HAART before treating HCV.
HIV-infected patients 18 years of age and older with chronic hepatitis C infection may be eligible for this study. Patients must have an HCV viral load greater than 2000 copies/mL and a CD4 count that is either more than 500 cells/mm3, or more than 350 cells/mm3 with an HIV viral load no greater than 40,000 particles/mL. Candidates will be screened for current or previous diseases, conditions or treatments that may exclude them from this study. Screening includes a medical history and physical examination, eye examination, blood and urine tests, chest X-ray, electrocardiogram (EKG), liver ultrasound, and, possibly, a liver biopsy, if a recent one is not available. The liver biopsy is optional and is done to determine the severity of liver disease. Patients will be sedated for this test. The skin in the area over the biopsy site is numbed with a local anesthetic, and a needle is inserted rapidly into and out of the liver to obtain a small tissue sample. Patients remain in the hospital overnight for monitoring. Women of childbearing age will have a pregnancy test.
Patients enrolled in the study will be randomly assigned to one of the following treatment groups: 1) pegylated interferon and ribavirin for 48 weeks (control group); or 2) HAART for 6 months, followed by 48 weeks of pegylated interferon and ribavirin.
HAART group - Patients taking HAART will be followed in the clinic every 2 weeks for the first month and then monthly for the next 5 months. After 6 months of HAART they will begin taking pegylated interferon and ribavirin and will follow the dosing and follow-up schedule outlined below for patients in the control group.
Control group - Patients will have weekly injections under the skin of peginterferon alpha-2b and ribavirin pills daily by mouth. Clinic visits will be scheduled as follows:
- Days 1, 3, 7, and 21 - Blood will be drawn for safety tests and to measure blood levels of HIV and HCV. HCV medications will be injected on days 7 and 21.
- Weeks 2, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32, 36, 40, 44, 52, 56, and 64 - Blood and urine tests will be done to determine the side effects of pegylated interferon and ribavirin treatment and its effect on the HCV infection. Eye examinations will be done every 3 months.
- Week 48 or end of treatment - Treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin will stop after 48 weeks. At this time (or earlier for those who do not complete the 48 weeks of treatment), patients will return to the clinic for a routine visit, blood tests (including a test for hepatitis B) and abdominal ultrasound. Patients may also be hospitalized for 2 days for a repeat optional liver biopsy.
- Week 72 and extended follow-up visits - At week 72, patients will return for blood tests and a routine clinic visit. HCV viral load will be measured. Follow-up visits every 3 months for an additional year will include a blood test to measure HCV viral load and a complete physical examination.
Drug: highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)
|Study Design:||Primary Purpose: Treatment|
|Official Title:||A Randomized, Controlled Study to Assess the Impact of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy to Hepatitis C Therapy in Patients Coinfected With HIV-1 and Treated With Peginterferon Alpha-2b and Ribavirin|
|Study Start Date:||February 2002|
|Estimated Study Completion Date:||April 2004|
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00031343
|United States, Maryland|
|National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)|
|Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892|