Okuda lecture: Challenges of hepatitis B in the era of antiviral therapy
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AbstractNucleos(t)ide analogs (NAs) are effective, safe, and convenient antiviral therapy to suppress replication of hepatitis B virus, which can be translated into improved long-term outcome of chronic hepatitis B patients. The current recommended first-line NAs, namely, entecavir and tenofovir, are largely free from problems of drug resistance. Nonetheless, there are still a few challenges in the era of NA. First, the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma can only be reduced but not eliminated, particularly among cirrhotic patients. For cirrhotic patients who have persistent low-level viremia on NA, that is, partial responders, the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma is higher than those with complete viral suppression. The best strategy to manage partial responders to entecavir or tenofovir is uncertain. Second, immune-tolerant patients are very difficult to treat with NA. A significant proportion of immune-tolerant patients will have detectable viremia despite a few years of continuous NA treatment, and the rate of hepatitis B e-antigen seroconversion is very low. Third, most patients need long-term treatment as NA cannot eliminate covalently closed circular DNA in the hepatocytes. Some patients can consider stop NA according to treatment guidelines, but viral and clinical relapses often occur after treatment cessation. There is no concrete consensus on when one should stop NA in a hepatitis B e-antigen-negative patient among different treatment guidelines. New biomarkers such as hepatitis B surface antigen level can be used to select patients to stop NA, but the data are still preliminary.
All Author(s) ListChan HLY
Journal nameJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume Number34
Issue Number3
Pages501 - 506
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
Keywordsentecavir, functional cure, HBsAg, hepatocellular carcinoma, immune tolerance, tenofovir
Web of Science Subject CategoriesGastroenterology & Hepatology;Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Last updated on 2020-14-07 at 01:58