HBF is pleased to connect our blog readers to Christine Kukka’s monthly HBV Journal Review that she writes for the HBV Advocate. The journal presents the latest in hepatitis B research, treatment, and prevention from recent academic and medical journals. This month, the following topics are explored:
- Having Hepatitis B and a Family Member with Cancer Raises Cancer Risk Dramatically
- VA Tests Only 21.8% of Its Patients for Hepatitis B, Missing Many at Risk of Infection
- Research Shows Importance of HBV Screening Before Chemotherapy Begins
- Younger Age and Low HBsAgLevels Benefit Patients Who Stop Antivirals
- Doctors Debate Benefits of Interferon vs. Antiviral Treatment
- New Study Finds Fibroscan Accuracy on Par with Liver Biopsies
- Mild Kidney Problems and Bone Loss Linked to Antivirals
- Hepatitis B Vaccine Effectiveness Challenged
January 1, 2015
Volume 12, No 11
by Christine M. Kukka
Having Hepatitis B and a Family Member with Cancer Raises Cancer Risk Dramatically
Having a hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and an immediate family member–especially a mother–with liver cancer significant increases one’s cancer risk, according to a report published in a Chinese hepatology journal.
Researchers found liver cancer rates to be 59% higher in HBV-infected individuals with a family history of liver cancer, compared to uninfected individuals with no family history of cancer.
Chinese researchers followed 708 HBV-infected patients and 730 uninfected individuals in Qidong City to see how much a hepatitis B infection and/or having a family member with liver cancer increased participants’ cancer risk.
Researchers regularly assessed participants’ liver health and screened them for cancer twice a year over the 20-year study.
The incidence of liver cancer in those with HBV infection and liver cancer in their immediate family was 1,244 per 100,000 person years. In contrast, the incidence was 509 per 100,000 person years in individuals (infected and uninfected) without a family history of liver cancer.
Liver cancer rates remained high, but did not vary significantly if an individual had a sibling versus a father with cancer. However, having a mother with liver cancer further increased cancer risk in HBV-infected individuals.
Among participants with a family history of liver cancer, 56.52% were diagnosed with cancer before age 50.
At the end of the 20-year study, cancer rates were:
- 32.21% for those with hepatitis B and a family history of cancer
- 19.80% for those with hepatitis B but no family history of cancer
- 1.71% for those with a family cancer history but no hepatitis B infection
- And 0.65% for those with neither a hepatitis B infection nor a family history of liver cancer.
VA Tests Only 21.8% of Its Patients for Hepatitis B, Missing Many at Risk of Infection
Among 5.6 million U.S. veterans treated at Veterans Administration clinics during 2013, only 21.8% had been screened for hepatitis B during the prior 14 years, according to a report by VA researchers published in the December 2014 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.