IL28B genotype is associated with cirrhosis or transition to cirrhosis in treatment-naive patients with chronic HCV genotype 1 infection: the international observational Gen-C study.
1990 - ?
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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Contradictory data exist on the association between host interleukin-28B (IL28B) rs12979860 genotype and liver fibrosis in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC). This large, international, observational study (NCT01675427/MV25600) investigated relationships between IL28B rs12979860 genotype and liver fibrosis stage in CHC patients. METHODS: A total of 3003 adult, treatment-naive CHC patients were enrolled into the study. Patients made one study visit to provide a blood sample for genotyping; other data were obtained from medical records. RESULTS: 2916 patients comprised the analysis population; the majority were enrolled in Europe (n = 2119), were Caucasian (n = 2582) and had hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype (G)1 infection (n = 1702) (G2 = 323, G3 = 574, G4 = 260). Distribution of IL28B genotypes varied according to region of enrolment, patient ethnicity and HCV genotype. A significant association was observed between increasing number of IL28B T alleles and the prevalence of cirrhosis/transition to cirrhosis (based on biopsy or non-invasive assessments) in G1-infected patients (CC = 22.2% [111/499], CT = 27.5% [255/928], TT = 32.3% [87/269]; p = 0.0018). The association was significant in the large subgroup of European Caucasian G1 patients (n = 1245) but not in the smaller Asian (n = 25), Latin American (n = 137) or Middle Eastern (n = 289) G1 subgroups. IL28B genotype was not associated with liver fibrosis stage in patients with HCV G2, G3 or G4 infection. CONCLUSION: This large, international study found that IL28B rs12979860 genotype is significantly associated with liver fibrosis stage in CHC patients with HCV G1 infection. This association was evident in European Caucasians but not in G1-infected patients from Asia, Latin America or the Middle East.