Now we’re talking, ladies and gentlemen. When I entered this arena in 1995, less than 33% were achieving any kind of success and some relapsed years after. The pegylated Interferon (PegIntron) of the early to mid 2000s again only hit about 50%+ in repeated trials. Genotypes 2 and 3, which were always the ones most expected to achieve sustained Viral Response (SVR) have been coming out on the skinny end in 12 week trials that are Interferon-free. Enter the new, 24 week regimen.
The latest news with 24 week regimens shows an 85% SVR among Genotype 3 HCV sufferers with most exhibiting SVR by week 12. When I “volunteered” for Project 404 in July of 1970, I wasn’t allowed to ask many questions about the assignment until after I had acquiesced and signed on the line. No, this isn’t about Obamacare but it parallels it in some respects. One question I pointedly asked was what the casualty rate was. They mentioned 35-40%. Being 19 and incredibly optimistic, this young airman converted that into a chance of coming out unscathed at 60-65% which is what incredibly optimistic, testosterone-infused young servicemen tended to do in war.
I consider an 85% chance of conquering HCV to be incredibly good odds. Conversely, a 15% failure rate is almost immeasurable in the scheme of medical mishaps. This is, in the final instance, another Win or Die proposition so it is not up for debate. Left untreated, I die. I have an 85% chance of success if I press on. In my book, that’s incredibly good odds compared to 45 years ago. Where do I sign up?