Despite changes in the treatment paradigm towards non-interferon-based therapies, interferon-based treatments are still used in some geographical regions for treating patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Use of eltrombopag with interferon-based treatment for patients with thrombocytopenia and HCV was assessed in two similarly designed phase 3 trials (Eltrombopag to Initiate and Maintain Interferon Antiviral Treatment to Benefit Subjects With Hepatitis C-Related Liver Disease [ENABLE-1 and ENABLE-2]). These trials also aimed to determine whether response to antiviral therapy (e.g., sustained virologic response [SVR]) is associated with changes in health-related quality of life (HRQoL). This pooled, post-hoc analysis aimed to (1) determine whether or not specific aspects of clinical response to treatment (i.e., achieving SVR) are associated with a significant change in HRQoL, and (2) to determine the magnitude and direction of the association between important changes in HRQoL, clinical response to interferon-based therapy (e.g., SVR) and treatment (eltrombopag or placebo), and patient and disease attributes.
The Short-Form 36 Health Survey version 2 and Chronic Liver Disease Questionnaire-Hepatitis C Virus version were administered at various time points during the studies. Results from both trials were pooled for the analyses. Logistic regression analysis was used to assess the influence of 5 clinical factors (SVR, early virologic response [EVR], genotype [2/3 vs. non-2/3], treatment [eltrombopag or placebo], and cumulative interferon dose), plus other factors including ethnicity, model of end-stage liver disease score, and platelets as predictors of meaningful changes in HRQoL.
Between antiviral therapy baseline and the end of the 24-week post-treatment follow-up, declines in HRQoL were smaller in eltrombopag-treated patients than in placebo-treated patients, but the differences were not statistically significant. Mean changes among patients achieving SVR and EVR were small in comparison to thresholds of minimally important changes. Logistic models did not confirm the strength of the 5 clinical factors as predictors of meaningful changes in HRQoL during antiviral therapy, with the exception of the interaction between SVR and EVR (P = 0.0009). Asian ethnicity had a consistent effect on HRQoL, with East Asian patients being more likely to experience deterioration in HRQoL compared with white and/or other non-East Asian patients.
While on active antiviral therapy, declines in HRQoL were not statistically different for eltrombopag-treated patients versus placebo-treated patients, suggesting that eltrombopag neither worsened HRQoL nor mitigated the effects of antiviral therapy on HRQoL.