Author(s): Singal AK, Salameh H, Kuo YF, Fontana RJ
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Five oral nucleos(t)ide analogues are available to treat chronic hepatitis B (CHB). With the availability of newer agents, their efficacy on incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is not well described. AIM: To determine the efficacy of oral anti-viral agents in reducing HCC risk in relationship with other known factors. METHODS: Published studies of at least 20 CHB patients treated with an oral anti-viral agent and followed for >2 years were analysed for incidence of HCC per 100 person years follow-up. RESULTS: Pooled homogeneous data from six studies showed lamivudine (LAM) treatment (n = 3306) to reduce HCC risk by 51\% compared with no treatment (n = 3585) (3.3 vs. 9.7 per 100 person years, P < 0.0001). Pooled data from 49 studies (23 with LAM; 16 with adefovir; and 10 with entecavir, tenofovir or telbivudine) of 10 025 treated patients showed HCC incidence of 1.3 per 100 person years, independent of the agent used. Patient age >50 years and hepatitis B virus-DNA detectability at HCC diagnosis increased risk of HCC by twofold with a 10-fold higher risk among patients with cirrhosis compared with chronic hepatitis. Meta-regression showed patient age, study location (Eastern vs. Western) and type of study (randomised or not) contributed to heterogeneity. CONCLUSIONS: Lamivudine treatment significantly reduces the incidence of HCC compared with no treatment. However, HCC still develops at a rate of 1.3 per 100 patient years in CHB patients receiving an oral anti-viral agent. This finding highlights the need for continued HCC surveillance, particularly in CHB patients with inadequate viral suppression, older age and cirrhosis. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
This article was published in Aliment Pharmacol Ther
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals