SVR is Not a Treatment’s Survival Rate

The Basic Hep C Treatment Terms pageAwhile back, I read an article published by a business magazine that defined a hep C treatment’s SVR as the treatment’s survival rate. Fortunately, this is not the correct definition of SVR. However, the incorrect definition–and probably all of the snickers that have followed at its expense–has led to the Hepatitis C Treatment Information Project putting together a Basic Hep C Treatment Terms page.

The Basic Hep C Treatment Terms page is filled with terms one may encounter while researching hep C treatments. The page’s terms have also been linked throughout the Hep C Treatment Information Project so that when a reader comes across one of the terms, they can click on it and a new window will open with the word’s definition.

As you may have already guessed, SVR is one of the term defined on the new page. SVR stands for sustained viral response. There is a time period, right after treatment has been completed, when HCV RNA, or the hep C virus, isn’t detectable in one’s blood. If the virus remains consistently undetectable over time, the chances of it coming back, or relapsing, are extremely low (less than 1%). When this happens, a SVR is thought to have been achieved.

Achieving SVR is the goal of hep C treatments. It is considered to be an hep C infection cure, a successful treatment. When it is achieved, the hep C virus can’t be detected in the blood, can’t be spread, and liver cirrhosis from it has stopped.

Currently, hep C treatments in clinical trials are usually listed with SVR12s or SVR24s. The numbers after ‘SVR’ are the number of weeks that the virus must remain undetectable for the treatment to be declared successful. For example, if SVR24 95% is listed for a treatment, it means that 24 weeks after that treatment has been completed, 95% of patients had such low levels of HCV RNA within them that they were declared cured. If SVR12 95% is listed, it means the same thing but after only 12 weeks of testing for the virus instead of 24 weeks.

Other hep C treatment terms defined on the new page are:
Hep C Antibody Test Hep C Genotype Liver Cirrhosis
Liver Fibrosis Liver Fibrosis Stages PCR Test/HCV RNA
PharmaCare Limited Coverage Drugs PharmaCare Special Authority Relapse
Treatment-Experienced / Previously Treated Patients Treatment-Naive Patients / Patients who have never tried treatment Viral Load
Viral Load Test

The Basic Hep C Treatment Terms page is a project in progress, like the Hepatitis C Treatment Information Project itself, and will probably be frequently updated with new terms.

If there are other terms that should be defined on this page, please let the Hepatitis C Treatment Information Project know and we’ll gladly add them!