Hep B Blog

Liver Cancer Webinar Series: What You Need to Know

Missed the webinar? Download the March 6th Webinar and listen to Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer: What You Need to Know, by Dr. Robert Gish

Due to an overwhelming response, continued registration for  this Wednesday’s webinar with Dr. Gish is closed. Stay tuned as the webinar will be recorded in it’s entirety, and will be made available. Stay tuned for details! 

Did you know?

Liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths and the seventh most common cancer worldwide. But the major causes of liver cancer— such as chronic hepatitis B or hepatitis C, and cirrhosis— are largely preventable. And treatments for liver cancer are available.

Learn more about liver cancer

Join The Hepatitis B Foundation’s webinar series to learn about the risk factors for liver cancer and the importance of liver cancer screening and surveillance. The expert presenters will describe currently available treatment options and clinical trials.

The first webinar of the series will be Liver Cancer and Hepatitis B: What You Need to Know, presented by Robert G. Gish, MD, an internationally renowned liver diseases expert.

Dr. Gish is a Clinical Professor of Medicine, Section Chief of Hepatology, and Co-Director of the Center for Hepatobiliary Disease and Abdominal Transplantation at the University of California, San Diego Health Systems.

Dr. Gish has an active research program in viral hepatitis and has published more than 600 original articles, abstracts, and book chapters, and more than 120 peer-reviewed publications.

Liver Cancer and Hepatitis B: What You Need to Know webinar details:

Presented by:Dr. Robert G. Gish
Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Time: 12 noon EST; 9 am PST
Click here to register

For additional accurate, easy-to-understand information on liver cancer, visit the Hepatitis B Foundation’s new, dedicated website, www.LiverCancerConnect.org.


HBsAg Levels Linked with Fibrosis in HBeAg-Positive Patients

Below is a publication from “Healio Hepatology, February 21, 2013 – HbsAg Levels Linked with Fibrosis in HBeAg-Positive Patients” , showing the correlation between HBsAg and HBV DNV virus levels and the risk of moderate to severe fibrosis in HBeAg positive patients.

Patients with hepatitis B who tested positive for hepatitis B e antigen were at increased risk for moderate-to-severe fibrosis with lower levels of hepatitis B surface antigen in a recent study.

Researchers evaluated serum samples and liver biopsy results from 406 treatment-naive patients with chronic hepatitis B. HBV genotype and hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) status were recorded along with levels of HBV DNA and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg).

HBeAg-positive patients (n=101) had a higher mean fibrosis stage than HBeAg-negative patients (1.86 ± 1.18 vs. 1.40 ± 0.99; P<.001) and had greater levels of HBV DNA (7.06 ± 1.71 vs. 4.12 ± 1.67)and HBsAg (4.24 ± 0.9 vs. 3.53 ± 0.92) (P<.0001 for both). Investigators observed strong correlations between HBV DNA and HBsAg levels (r=0.44; P<.0001) and between fibrosis severity and HBsAg levels (r=0.43; P<.0001) among HBeAg-positive patients, but not among HBeAg-negative participants.

HBeAg-positive patients with moderate-to-severe fibrosis had lower HBsAg (3.84 ± 1.01 vs. 4.63 ± 0.58; P<.0001)and HBV DNA levels (6.47 ± 1.81 vs. 7.62 ± 1.40; P<.001) than those with mild or no fibrosis. HBeAg-positive patients with genotypes B, D or E had significantly higher HBsAg levels than HBeAg-negative patients, along with higher HBV DNA levels regardless of genotype.

Modeling analysis established an HBsAg cutoff of 3.85 log IU/mL-1 with a theoretical sensitivity of 100%, specificity of 86% and NPV of 100% for predicting moderate-to-severe fibrosis among HBeAg-positive patients with genotypes B or C. Investigators noted that the small cohort size used to establish this cutoff requires further validation to be clinically useful.

“To our knowledge, the current study is only the second to associate an HBsAg cutoff with the prediction of fibrosis severity in CHB patients,” the researchers wrote. “It will be of considerable interest to see whether the serum HBsAg and HBV DNA levels in the patients infected with different genotypes are significantly different from the mean values of the overall HBeAg-positive group, and if they will require the development of genotype-specific cutoffs, or whether a single cutoff is applicable to all HBV genotypes.”

Disclosure: See the study for a full list of relevant disclosures.

Launch of New Patient-Focused Website at LiverCancerConnect.org

A dedicated program of the Hepatitis B Foundation for patients and families 

The statistics are sobering. Liver cancer is the seventh most common cancer in the world, but the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Worldwide, more than 700,000 people are diagnosed with primary liver cancer each year, accounting for more than 600,000 deaths annually. Equally disturbing is the fact that while the incidence rates of most cancers have declined in recent years, the incidence rate for liver cancer is increasing.

But there is encouraging progress in the fight against liver cancer. Scientific research into new treatments is yielding promising results. And perhaps more significantly, the major causes of liver cancer— such as chronic hepatitis B or hepatitis C infections, and cirrhosis — are largely preventable. A safe and effective vaccine against hepatitis B has been available since 1986. In fact, this vaccine was named the world’s first “anti-cancer” vaccine, because it prevents chronic hepatitis B infection, the world’s leading cause of liver cancer. While no vaccine for hepatitis C currently exists, new drugs can eliminate the virus, thereby halting the progression to liver cancer. And cirrhosis can be avoided by preventing chronic hepatitis B and C infections, limiting alcohol intake, and preventing fatty liver disease associated with obesity.

Knowing that these risk factors are preventable makes it all the more important to identify people at risk for liver cancer, educate them about prevention and treatment options, and direct them to appropriate medical care.

To provide accurate, easy-to-understand information to people diagnosed with liver cancer, the Hepatitis B Foundation has created the first patient-focused website, www.LiverCancerConnect.org. The website aims to help people better understand how liver cancer is diagnosed and how it can be treated or prevented. In addition, wwwLiverCancerConnect.org includes a Drug Watch of potential new liver cancer therapies, an expanding directory of liver cancer specialists, and a clinical trials listing.

The Hepatitis B Foundation is also organizing a series of webinars in 2013 to educate the public about the link between liver cancer and its main risk factors, namely hepatitis B and C infections and cirrhosis caused by fatty liver disease. The webinars, presented by leading international experts in liver diseases, will explain what primary liver cancer is, the importance of liver cancer screening and surveillance, and the treatment options and clinical trials that are currently available. Additional information will be announced on both the Liver Cancer Connect website and HBF’s blog when it is available.

The Foundation invites you to use www.LiverCancerConnect.org to learn about liver cancer and its treatment options, and to locate liver cancer specialists and clinical trials. We welcome your feedback and suggestions at connect@livercancerconnect.org so that we may continue to build on this valuable resource for the global liver cancer community.

Liver Cancer Connect is available on Facebook and Twitter. Join LCC on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/LiverCancerConnect and follow LCC on twitter with the handle @LiverCancerConn.