The future therapy for chronic hepatitis C will probably include measures to decrease hepatocellular injury along with multidrug combinations, including inhibitors of the hepatitis C viral protease, helicase, or polymerase to reduce serum levels or eradicate HCV RNA. The results of recently concluded trials of IFN-alpha 2b plus ribavirin combination therapy have shown a twofold improvement in the biochemical and virologic response rates and superiority by other measures of efficacy with an acceptable safety profile. In view of these results, new guidelines for the management of chronic HCV infection are appropriate (Fig. 1).
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