The standard 12 weeks of direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment may be excessively long for many people seeking a cure of hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Presenting their findings at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases in San Francisco, researchers have thus far enrolled 22 people with HCV in a study that tested what is known as modeling-based response-guided therapy. This involves monitoring the HCV viral load of participants while they are on DAA treatment and using mathematical models to predict what treatment length would suffice to cure the virus.

The modeling predicted that one participant (5 percent of the total) could take 10 weeks of treatment, eight (36 percent) could take eight weeks of treatment and two (9 percent) could take just six weeks of treatment. The remaining 11 participants (50 percent) would need the full 12 weeks of DAA therapy.

Twenty-one of the participants achieved a sustained virologic response 12 weeks after completing therapy (SVR12, considered a cure). The one person who experienced viral relapse after completing treatment had genotype 3 of the virus, which is harder to treat than other genotypes.

A larger study of modeling-based response-guided DAA therapy has been launched, seeking to validate the results of this pilot study.

To read a press release about the study, click here.