Science Daily (Aug. 17, 2010) —
Researchers from this international study found that patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection who received at least 3 years of cumulative entecavir (antiviral) therapy achieved substantial histologic improvement and regression of fibrosis or cirrhosis. Full details of the study appear in the September issue of Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic hepatitis B afflicts an estimated 800,000-1.4 million people in the U.S. It is an even greater problem globally, affecting approximately 350 million people. An estimated 15%-25% of people with this chronic disease develop serious liver problems, including liver damage, cirrhosis, liver failure, or liver cancer, and an estimated 620,000 persons worldwide die from HBV-related liver disease each year.
Viral replication is now recognized as the key driver of liver injury and disease progression, and the primary aim of treatment is long-term suppression of hepatitis B viral replication to undetectable levels. Entecavir is a potent HBV antiviral drug that in previous trials has demonstrated superior virologic, histologic and biochemical outcomes in nucleoside-naïve patients after treatment periods ranging from 48 weeks to 3 years, with minimal emergence of resistance. The present study confirms these results.
Long-term entecavir therapy results in the reversal of fibrosis/cirrhosis and continued histological improvement in patients with chronic hepatitis B.
Ting-Tsung Chang, Yun-Fan Liaw, Shun-Sheng Wu, Eugene Schiff, Kwang-Hyub Han, Ching-Lung Lai, Rifaat Safadi, Samuel S. Lee, Waldemar Halota, Zachary Goodman, Yun-Chan Chi, Hui Zhang, Robert Hindes, Uchenna Iloeje, Suzanne Beebe, Bruce Kreter.
Hepatology, 2010; DOI: 10.1002/hep.23785
Link to Hepatology abstract