Randomised clinical trial: sofosbuvir and ledipasvir in patients with transfusion-dependent thalassaemia and HCV genotype 1 or 4 infection

A. Mangia, R. Sarli, R. Gamberini, A. Piga, G. Cenderello, V. Piazzolla, R. Santoro, V. Caruso, A. Quarta, R. Ganga, M. Copetti, G. Forni

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Background: Patients with thalassaemia major depend on blood transfusions. In Italy, up to 80% of thalassaemia patients bear HCV antibodies due to HCV contaminated transfusions before 1990. Thalassaemia patients with HCV infection have high risk of developing HCC. Treatment based on Pegylated-IFN (Peg-IFN) and Ribavirin (RBV) was limited by relevant side effects. Aim: To evaluate the impact of Sofosbuvir/Ledipasvir (SOF/LDV) fixed dose combination for 12 weeks without RBV, in patients with thalassaemia major and HCV Genotype 1 or 4 (GT1/4). Methods: Open label, historically-controlled, nationwide multicentre study in thalassaemia patients including naïve with cirrhosis and prior treatment failure without cirrhosis. SOF/LDV single pill was administered for 12 weeks to 100 patients of whom 16% had cirrhosis. The control group included 96 patients with comparable baseline characteristics treated with Peg-IFN/RBV. The primary end point was sustained virologic response at follow-up week 12 or 24 after IFN-free or Peg-IFN/RBV, respectively. Results: In the study group, sustained virological response (SVR) was reported in 98% of patients (95% CI 95.3%-100%). Cirrhotic as well as prior treatment failure achieved 100% SVR. In the control group, SVR was 47.9% (95% CI 37.9%-57.9%). Adverse events including fatigue, headache, nausea, decrease in haemoglobin or increase in ferritin levels were rare and significantly less common in the study than in the historical control group. Conclusions: In conclusion, SOF/LDV for 12 weeks provides simple, highly effective and safe Peg-IFN/RBV-free treatment for HCV GT1/4 thalassaemia patients. EUDRACT number 2015-002401-1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-431
Number of pages8
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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