Mer, can you go with him to the appt. with the hepatologist? If so, run it by the doc. Can't hurt and you possibly can gain some info.
Carol, that astounds me that Mike's viral load is so high. I have heard that after transplant the C can return with a vengeance. Hardly seems fair. The highest my viral load has been is what it is currently: 68,000. With the new cancer, it went up from 38,000. So I don't think that viral load is truly indicative of what is going on. But I may have the same experience post transplant.
My brief experience, when interferon alone was the only treatment, wasn't good. I, too, have been hoping for a treatment w/o interferon. However, I was planning on trying the Incivek (with the protease inhibitor.) Two months before it became available the end of May, I was diagnosed with HCC again. So I'm now just waiting to be listed for transplant, with no idea of what treatment I'll be offered post transplant...but suspecting it will be "the combo," since there's no data of how the newer drugs affect transplant patients.
But for those just diagnosed or who haven't yet transplanted--the newer drugs offer hope for better clearance. It remains to be seen what the clearance rate will be with the non-interferon treatment, though.