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Hepatitis B

Longer Treatment with Pegylated Interferon Works Better for Hepatitis B Genotype D

HBeAg negative people with hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotype D doubled their rate of sustained response when treated with pegylated interferon for 2 years instead of 1 year, and HBsAg clearance was also more likely with longer therapy, according to study results presented at the 45th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL 2010) last month in Vienna

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San Francisco Launches Hepatitis B Campaign to Raise Awareness in Asian Community

Coinciding with National Hepatitis B Awareness Month, San Francisco Hep B Free launched a new ad campaign this week to raise awareness about hepatitis B within the city's Asian communities, and to encourage testing and vaccination. The campaign includes print and television ads in several languages (including Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese) as well as information directed at English-speaking medical providers. Asian Americans have a high rate of hepatitis B -- an estimated 1 in 10 infected -- and San Francisco, with its large Asian population, has the nation's highest rate of liver cancer.

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EASL 2010: Tenofovir (Viread) Demonstrates High Barrier to Resistance over 3 Years in Chronic Hepatitis B Patients

No participants taking tenofovir (Viread) to treat chronic hepatitis B developed drug resistance through 144 weeks in 2 Phase 3 studies, according to a poster presentation last week at the 45th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL 2010) in Vienna. Researchers also reported that among patients who still had detectable HBV DNA at week 72, adding emtricitabine (Emtriva) did not reduce viral load more than tenofovir alone.

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EASL 2010: Tenofovir (Viread) Effective for Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis B Patients with Suboptimal Response to Adefovir (Hepsera)

Treatment with tenofovir (Viread) monotherapy for up to 96 weeks produced complete suppression of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in patients who had detectable viral load using the related nucleotide analog adefovir (Hepsera), according to data from a pooled analysis presented at the 45th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL 2010) last month in Vienna. In addition, tenofovir was well tolerated and no drug resistance was observed.

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EASL 2010: Tenofovir/emtricitabine (Truvada) Prevents Hepatitis B Recurrence after Liver Transplantation in Patients with Mild Kidney Impairment

Combination therapy using tenofovir (Viread) plus emtricitabine (Emtriva) -- the 2 drugs in the Truvada coformulation -- either with or without injected hepatitis B virus (HBV) antibodies, was well tolerated and prevented HBV recurrence in chronic hepatitis B patients with mild-to-moderate kidney (renal) impairment who underwent liver transplantation, according to a study presented last week at the 45th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL 2010) in Vienna.

EASL 2010: MARS and Prometheus Artificial Liver Devices Offer Some Benefits for Patients with Liver Failure, but Did Not Improve Survival

An out-of-body liver dialysis device known as the Molecular Adsorbents Recirculating System (MARS) -- which takes over some lost filtering function in people with liver failure -- reduced levels of toxic substances in the blood and improved symptoms of hepatic encephalopathy in patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure, though it did not significantly extend survival, according to a late-breaker presentation at the 45th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL 2010) this month in Vienna. Another study found that the Prometheus extracorporeal liver support system also did not improve survival overall, though it did help specific groups of patients.

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EASL 2010: World Hepatitis Alliance Releases Major Report on Viral Hepatitis Policy at EASL Meeting

In conjunction with the 45th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL 2010) last week in Vienna, the World Hepatitis Alliance released its first major policy report on viral hepatitis, focusing on hepatitis B and C. Based on research commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO), the report describes global responses to the urgent public health issue of viral hepatitis, finding that many counties lack national prevention and management policies even though 10 times more people have hepatitis B and C than HIV/AIDS.

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EASL 2010: HBV DNA and HBsAg Levels Predict Likelihood of Sustained Response to Pegylated Interferon for Hepatitis B

Decreases in levels of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) while receiving treatment with pegylated interferon can help predict which hepatitis B "e" antigen (HBeAg) negative patients will ultimately achieve a sustained response, according to presentation at the 45th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL 2010) this month in Vienna. Investigators recommended that people who do not experience adequate decreases in these levels by week 12 should discontinue therapy.

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Many U.S. Babies Do Not Receive Recommended Therapy to Prevent Hepatitis B Infection

About 14% of babies born to mothers with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and about 20% born to women of unknown HBV status in the U.S. do not receive recommended vaccinations or other therapies to prevent them from acquiring the virus, according to a CDC analysis of practices at more than 200 hospitals described in the April 2010 issue of Pediatrics.

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