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Hepatitis B

EASL 2009: Does HBV Viral Load Level Predict Development of Liver Fibrosis?

Two studies presented at the 44th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL 2009) last month in Copenhagen looked at the association between HBV DNA level and development of fibrosis, with findings suggesting that the role of HBV viral load differs for hepatitis B "e" antigen (HBeAg) negative and HBeAg positive individuals.

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Investigational 2-Dose Dynavax Heplisav Hepatitis B Vaccine May Work Better than Standard 3-Dose Energix-B Vaccine

An investigational hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine may offer the same degree of protection with 2 doses as the standard Engerix-B vaccine does with 3 doses, according to a study presented at the 44th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL 2009) last month in Copenhagen.

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Adefovir (Hepsera) Prevents Post-transplant HBV Recurrence as well as HBIG

Liver transplantation is the only treatment for end-stage liver failure due to chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, but without preventive therapy, the virus typically quickly attacks the new liver, which can lead to complications, organ failure, and death.

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Addition of Emtricitabine (Emtriva) Does Not Improve Response to Tenofovir (Viread) for Chronic Hepatitis B

As described in a poster presented at the 44th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL 2009) last month in Copenhagen, T. Berg and an international team of colleagues conducted Study 106, comparing the efficacy of tenofovir/emtricitabine combination therapy versus tenofovir alone for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B.

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Adding Ribavirin Does Not Improve Response to Pegylated Interferon Therapy for Chronic Hepatitis B

In a poster presented at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD 2008) last week in San Francisco, researchers reported results from a study assessing whether addition of ribavirin improves response in hepatitis B patients.

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Some Individuals Harbor HBV with Adefovir and Tenofovir Resistance Mutations before They Ever Receive Treatment

Several nucleoside/nucleotide drugs have potent activity against hepatitis B virus (HBV), but the virus can rapidly develop resistance, presenting a barrier to long-term treatment success.

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Two Studies Look at Promising Therapies for Liver Cancer: Sorafenib and Doxorubicin

Two recently published studies produced promising data on experimental therapies for HCC: the systemic chemotherapy drug sorafenib (Nexavar), and combination therapy using doxorubicin-eluting beads plus radiofrequency ablation.

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GLOBE Trial 2-Year Data Shows Telbivudine (Tyzeka) Is More Effective than Lamivudine (Epivir-HBV) for Chronic Hepatitis B

Several nucleoside/nucleotide analog agents have activity against hepatitis B virus (HBV), but the development of drug resistance can be a barrier to long-term treatment success. Newer agents, however, appear to produce more durable benefit than the old standard-of-care, lamivudine (Epivir-HBV). Telbivudine (Tyzeka) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in October 2006. Approval was based in part on 52-week data from the pivotal GLOBE trial. Follow-up continued, and now 104-week safety and efficacy findings have been published in the February 2009 issue of Gastroenterology.

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Association between ALT and HBV DNA Viral Load in Chronic Hepatitis B Patients Treated with Pegylated Interferon

Association between ALT and HBV DNA Viral Load in Chronic Hepatitis B Patients Treated with Pegylated Interferonaminotransferase (ALT) is a key indicator of liver inflammation in individuals with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. During interferon-based therapy, approximately 25%-40% of patients experience ALT "flares" (sudden increases), but the relationship between ALT level and treatment outcome is not well understood.

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