19. What are the licensed treatments for chronic hepatitis B in the US?
There are three licensed therapies in the
United States. One is interferon therapy and what’s licensed is Intron
A, this is a Schering product at a dose of 5 MU per day or 10 MU per
day three times per week over a four month period is the
standard. Now it doesn’t mean that you can’t treat for
six months or a year, but this has been the standard. There are a lot
of studies underway looking at the pegylated interferon, the one shot
a week, long acting, but they’re not licensed yet, but I’m sure they
will supplant standard interferon in the future. And I would say
there’s a renewed interest in interferon. The two oral agents are Epivir, 100 mg per
day, licensed in 1998, and Hepsera, 10 mg per day, licensed in 2002.
We don’t have time today to talk about
transplant, but transplant is widely accepted and is very effective
when there is decompensated liver disease or an early liver cancer
that is in an area that the doctor can’t get to it, or there’s too bad
of a liver disease so it’s not safe to do surgery.
18. Should someone with chronic hepatitis B be screened for liver cancer?
20. What are the response, duration and durability for the three hepatitis B treatments?