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:
- Tenofovir More Potent Than Entecavir in Patients with High Viral Loads
- Antiviral Treatment After Liver Cancer Surgery Improves Survival Dramatically
- The New “Normal” ALT Levels Are Better at Diagnosing Active Infections
- Culturally-Adept Program Boosts HBV Screening Among Asian-Americans
- Experts Explore Ways to Treat and Monitor HBeAg-Negative Patients
- CDC Experts Estimates 6.5 New Hepatitis B Infections for Every One Reported
- Sperm Washing Successfully Prevents Infection Transmittal During Conception
- Tenofovir Effective in Patients with Drug Resistance, But Less So with Adefovir-Resistance
- Hepatitis B Vaccination Still Protects Even When Antibodies Decline
HBV Journal Review
March 1, 2014
Volume 11, no 3
by Christine M. Kukka
Tenofovir More Potent Than Entecavir in Patients with High Viral Loads
If you are infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and have a high viral load, which of the two leading antivirals do you choose? Do you opt for tenofovir (Viread) or entecavir (Baraclude)? A team of researchers from Stanford University recommend tenofovir hands down.
The researchers monitored 59 patients treated with tenofovir and 216 treated with entecavir and compared the two drugs’ effectiveness. Antivirals are pills taken daily that make it difficult for HBV to replicate. The patients were treated at four community liver clinics in northern California and monitored over a three-year period.
Among the 72 patients who tested negative for the hepatitis B “e” antigen (HBeAg) and had only moderately elevated viral loads, there was no significant difference in the performance of the two antivirals.
However, among HBeAg-positive patients with HBV DNA levels exceeding 1 million international units per milliliter (IU/mL), tenofovir worked far faster to suppress viral load.
- • After six months, 18% of tenofovir-treated patients achieved undetectable viral load compared to 11% in the entecavir group.
- • After 12 months, 51% of tenofovir patients had undetectable HBV DNA compared to 28% of entecavir patients.
- • And after 18 months, 72% of tenofovir-treated patients were HBV DNA-free, compared to 39% in the entecavir group.
“Tenofovir is significantly more effective than entecavir for achieving complete viral suppression in HBeAg-positive, (never before-treated) chronic hepatitis B patients with HBV DNA greater than 1 million IU/mL,” they wrote in the January issue of the journal of Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
Antiviral Treatment After Liver Cancer Surgery Improves Survival Dramatically
A team of researchers from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital reports that antiviral treatment after removal of a liver cancer tumor increased survival from an average 1.3 years to 6.6 years.
The team compared survival in 25 hepatitis B patients who each had similar-sized liver tumors removed through a process known as tumor ablation–involving the removal of liver tumors using heat, cold or chemicals.