Short-term Peginterferon-Induced High Functional Cure Rate in Inactive Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Carriers With Low Surface Antigen Levels.
ABSTRACT: Background:None of the current guidelines recommend antiviral therapy for inactive hepatitis B virus (HBV) carriers (IHCs). Methods:In this real-world, multicenter, nonrandomized study, 32 participants meeting the inclusion criteria were enrolled 1:1 for treatment with peginterferon ?-2b or monitoring without treatment based on participant preference. The expected treatment duration was 48 weeks. The primary end point was hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) loss. The HBV vaccine could be injected after HBsAg loss. Results:All patients had HBsAg levels of <20 IU/mL. The mean baseline HBsAg levels were 6.6 IU/mL and 5.8 IU/mL in the treated and untreated groups, respectively. Fifteen (93.8%) participants achieved HBsAg loss, 5 obtained HBsAg seroconversion after undergoing a mean of 19.7 weeks of therapy in the treated group, and no one in the follow-up group achieved HBsAg loss during a mean follow-up time of 12.6 months (P < .0001). Generally, the therapy was well tolerated. Nine of 11 individuals who exhibited HBsAg loss benefited from receiving the HBV vaccine. Conclusions:This study provides justification for further studies of short-course peginterferon ?-2b for the functional cure of IHCs with low HBsAg levels. Additionally, HBV vaccine injection is beneficial after interferon-induced HBsAg loss.
Project description:Patients with low hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) levels and hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA suppression by nucleos(t)ide analogues (NAs) achieve high rate of HBsAg loss through switching to PegIFNα in pre-registration study. The aim of this study was to achieve higher rate of HBsAg loss through extended PegIFN treatment. 98 patients with HBsAg < 2,000 IU/ml and HBV DNA < 20 IU/ml were randomized to receive PegIFNα-2b or continuing NA therapy for 60 weeks. At the end of treatment (EOT) and end of follow-up (EOF), only patients who switched to PegIFNα-2b achieved HBsAg loss (32.6%) and HBsAg seroconversion (27.9% and 25.6%). Patients who switched to PegIFNα-2b also achieved higher HBeAg seroconversion rates (65.1%) and HBeAg loss (81.4% and 90.7%) than those who continued NAs treatment. On-treatment HBsAg declines predicted the responses at EOT, and HBsAg declines at post-baseline times predicted the responses at EOF. The rates of responses were not increased through extended PegIFNα treatment. For patients with low HBsAg and HBV suppression with NAs, switching to PegIFNα-2b significantly increased the rates of HBsAg loss and HBsAg seroconversion. HBsAg decline can predict the response of switching to PegIFNα-2b following from NAs.
Project description:BACKGROUND & AIMS:It has yet to be firmly established whether host IFNL3 (IL28B) genotype influences interferon responsiveness in patients with chronic hepatitis B. We investigated associations between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the IFNL3 region and response to peginterferon alfa-2a in 701 patients enrolled in three large, randomized, international studies. METHODS:Responses were defined as hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) loss and/or hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) seroconversion plus hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA <2000 IU/ml in HBeAg-positive patients, and HBsAg loss and/or HBV DNA <2000 IU/ml in HBeAg-negative patients (24 weeks after end of treatment). Associations between treatment response and the number of copies of the poor-response allele at three SNPs (rs8099917, rs12980275, rs12979860) were explored with logistic regression models in Asian and white patients. RESULTS:The HBeAg-positive and -negative populations comprised 465 (92% Asian, 50% HBV genotype C) and 236 (79% Asian, 41% HBV genotype C) patients, respectively, and had respective response rates of 26% and 47%. The IFNL3 genotype was strongly associated with ethnicity. There was no association between IFNL3 genotype and treatment response in HBeAg-positive or -negative patients. Independent predictors of treatment response were: sex, HBV DNA level and alanine aminotransferase level in HBeAg-positive Asian patients; age in HBeAg-negative Asian patients; and HBV DNA in HBeAg-negative white patients. CONCLUSIONS:This is the largest analysis to date of associations between IFNL3 genotype and peginterferon response in patients with chronic hepatitis B. The data suggest that IFNL3 polymorphism is not a major determinant of the response to peginterferon alfa-2a in either HBeAg-positive or HBeAg-negative patients.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Serum hepatitis B virus (HBV) RNA may reflect intrahepatic HBV replication. Novel anti-viral drugs have shown potent HBV RNA decline without concomitant hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) decrease. How this relates to off-treatment response is yet unclear.<h4>Aim</h4>To study the degree of on-treatment viral antigen decline among patients with pronounced HBV RNA decrease in relation to off-treatment sustained response and HBsAg loss.<h4>Methods</h4>HBV RNA, HBsAg and hepatitis B core-related antigen (HBcrAg) were quantified in patients with chronic hepatitis B who participated in two randomised controlled trials of peginterferon-based therapy. Sustained response (HBV DNA <2000 IU/mL) and/or HBsAg loss were assessed in patients with and without on-treatment HBV RNA response (either >2 log HBV RNA decline or >1 log decline resulting in an undetectable value at on-treatment week 24), stratified by concomitant HBsAg decline (<0.5/0.5-1/>1 log).<h4>Results</h4>We enrolled 279 patients; 176 were hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive, and 103 were HBeAg-negative. Sustained response was achieved in 20.4% of patients. At on-treatment week 24, HBV RNA response was associated with higher sustained response rates (27.4% vs 13.0% in non-responders, P = 0.004). However, among patients with an HBV RNA response (n = 135), 56.4% did not experience >0.5 log HBsAg decline. Among HBV RNA responders, sustained response was achieved in 47.6% of those with >1 log HBsAg decline (n = 20/42), vs 16.0% with <0.5 log decline (n = 12/75, P = 0.001). Similar results were obtained with HBcrAg and when response was defined as HBsAg loss.<h4>Conclusions</h4>In this cohort, many patients with HBV RNA response during peginterferon-based treatment did not experience HBsAg and/or HBcrAg decline. The absence of concomitant decline in these viral antigens was associated with low rates of treatment response and HBsAg loss. Future trials should therefore consider kinetics of combined biomarkers to assess anti-viral efficacy. Trial registration, ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00114361, NCT00146705.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Various treatment combinations of peginterferon (PEG-IFN) and nucleos(t)ide analogues have been evaluated for chronic hepatitis B (CHB), but the optimal regimen remains unclear. AIMS:To study whether PEG-IFN add-on increases response compared to entecavir (ETV) monotherapy, and whether the duration of ETV pretreatment influences response. METHODS:Response was evaluated in HBeAg positive patients previously treated in two randomized controlled trials. Patients received ETV pretreatment for at least 24 weeks and were then allocated to 24-48 weeks of ETV+PEG-IFN add-on, or continued ETV monotherapy. Response was defined as HBeAg loss combined with HBV DNA <200 IU/mL 48 weeks after discontinuing PEG-IFN. RESULTS:Of 234 patients, 118 were assigned PEG-IFN add-on and 116 continued ETV monotherapy. Response was observed in 38/118 (33%) patients treated with add-on therapy and in 23/116 (20%) with monotherapy (P = 0.03). The highest response to add-on therapy compared to monotherapy was observed in PEG-IFN naive patients with HBsAg levels below 4000 IU/mL and HBV DNA levels below 50 IU/mL at randomization (70% vs 34%; P = 0.01). Above the cut-off levels, response was low and not significantly different between treatment groups. Duration of ETV pretreatment was associated with HBsAg and HBV DNA levels (both P < 0.005), but not with response (P = 0.82). CONCLUSIONS:PEG-IFN add-on to ETV therapy was associated with higher response compared to ETV monotherapy in patients with HBeAg positive CHB. Response doubled in PEG-IFN naive patients with HBsAg below 4000 IU/mL and HBV DNA below 50 IU/mL, and therefore identifies them as the best candidates for PEG-IFN add-on (Identifiers: NCT00877760, NCT01532843).
Project description:The optimal management strategy for children with immune-tolerant chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains unknown. The purpose of this clinical trial was to determine the safety and efficacy of therapy with entecavir and peginterferon in a group of children in the immune-tolerant phase of HBV infection. Children with immune-tolerant features of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) received entecavir once-daily in a dose of 0.015 mg/kg (0.5 mg maximum) for 48 weeks; peginterferon alfa-2a (180 µg/1.73m2 subcutaneously) once-weekly was added at the end of week 8 and continued until week 48. The primary endpoint was lack of detectable hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) with HBV DNA levels ?1,000 IU/mL 48 weeks after stopping therapy. Sixty children (75% female), median age 10.9 (range, 3.4-17.9) years, were enrolled. All were positive for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and HBeAg and had high levels of HBV DNA with normal or minimally elevated levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT). Fifty-five children completed the entire 48-week course of therapy. At 48 weeks after treatment ended (week 96), 2 children (3%) achieved the primary endpoint and were also HBsAg negative and anti-hepatitis B surface antigen antibody (anti-HBs) positive. One child was HBeAg positive but HBsAg negative at week 60; another was HBeAg negative but HBsAg positive at week 72, which were their last clinic visits. In the remaining children, serum ALT and HBV DNA levels at week 96 were similar to baseline. Thirty-seven children experienced adverse events (AEs), and 1 had a serious AE (SAE). Conclusion: The combination of entecavir and peginterferon for up to 48 weeks rarely led to loss of HBeAg with sustained suppression of HBV DNA levels in children in the immune-tolerant phase of HBV infection, and treatment was associated with frequent AEs.
Project description:Background and Aims: Data are limited on the use of pegylated-interferon alpha-2a (peg-IFN?) in Chinese patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection (CHB). We evaluated the effectiveness and safety of peg-IFN? in Chinese patients with hepatitis B envelope antigen-negative CHB in routine clinical practice. Methods: In this prospective, multicenter, observational, non-interventional cohort study, patients were assessed for up to 1 year after peg-IFN? treatment cessation. Treating physicians established the dosing and treatment duration according to Chinese clinical practice. Effectiveness of peg-IFN? treatment was measured by the percentage of: patients with HBV DNA <2000 IU/mL and loss of hepatitis B surface antigen (commonly known as HBsAg); HBV DNA level at end of treatment (EOT), and 6 months and 1 year posttreatment; and time course change in quantitative HBV DNA and HBsAg. Results: At EOT, 6 months posttreatment, and 1 year posttreatment, the percentage of patients with HBV DNA <2000 IU/mL was 90.0%, 81.8%, and 82.2%, and that of patients with HBsAg loss was 6.5%, 9.4%, and 9.5%, respectively. The HBV DNA level decreased from 5.61 log IU/mL at baseline to 2.48 log IU/mL at EOT and 2.67 log IU/mL at 1 year posttreatment. The HBsAg level decreased from 3.08 log IU/mL at baseline to 2.24 log IU/mL at EOT and 2.10 log IU/mL at 1 year posttreatment. The incidence of adverse events was 52.0%. Conclusions: Peg-IFN? has the potential to provide functional cure (HBsAg loss) for CHB and is well tolerated in hepatitis B envelope antigen-negative CHB patients in routine clinical practice in China. Clinical Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01730508).
Project description:<h4>Background and aims</h4>There is lack of a practical biomarker to predict sustained virological response (SVR) in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients undergoing peginterferon alfa-2a (PEG-IFN). The aim of this pilot study was to identify immunological features associated with SVR.<h4>Methods</h4>Consecutive 74 CHB patients receiving 24 weeks (for hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive) or 48 weeks (for HBeAg-negative) PEG-IFN, were prospectively enrolled. Serum HBV viral loads, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), CXCL9, IFN-?-inducible protein 10 (IP-10), interferon-gamma (IFN-?) and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-?) were measured at baseline and week 12. SVR was defined as HBeAg seroconversion combined with viral load <2000 IU/mL in HBeAg-positive (n=36), and viral load <2000 IU/mL in HBeAg-negative patients (n=38) at 48 weeks after the end of treatment.<h4>Results</h4>Nineteen patients (25.7%), 7 in HBeAg-positive and 12 in HBeAg-negative, achieved SVR. There were significant declines of HBV DNA, HBsAg, IP-10 and IFN-? levels at week 12. In multivariate analysis, pre-treatment CXCL9 >80 pg/mL, HBV DNA <2.5 x 10(7) IU/mL and on-treatment HBV viral load, HBsAg decline >10% at week 12 were predictors of SVR. The performance of CXCL9 in predicting SVR was good in patients with HBV DNA <2.5 x 10(7) IU/mL, particularly in HBeAg-negative CHB cases (positive predictive value, PPV= 64.3%).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Pre-treatment CXCL9 level has the potential to select CHB patients who can respond to PEG-IFN, especially in HBeAg-negative patients with low viral loads.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and viral load are both hallmarks of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and have potential to stratify liver cancer risk. METHODS:We carried out a nested case-control study including 211 liver cancer cases and 221 controls who were seropositive for HBsAg within two population-based cohorts in Shanghai. Logistic regression was performed to estimate the odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). RESULTS:Risk of liver cancer was positively related to increasing levels of HBV-DNA and HBsAg in dose-response manners. Compared with subjects with HBV-DNA < 2000 IU/ml, the adjusted ORs increased from 2.11 (95%CI: 0.99-4.50) to 10.47 (95%CI: 5.06-21.68) for those with HBV-DNA level at 2000-19 999 to ? 20 000 IU/ml. Compared with subjects at a low level of HBsAg (0.05-99 IU/ml), the adjusted ORs increased from 1.82 (95%CI: 0.90-3.68) to 2.21 (95%CI: 1.10-4.43) for those with HBsAg level at 100-999 to ? 1000 IU/ml. Compared with subjects with HBV-DNA < 2000 IU/ml and HBsAg < 100 IU/ml, the adjusted ORs were increased from 2.20 (95%CI: 1.07-4.49) for those with HBV-DNA < 2000 and HBsAg ? 100 IU/ml to 6.94 (95%CI: 3.39-14.23) for those with HBV-DNA ? 2000 IU/ml and HBsAg < 1000 IU/ml, and 16.15 (95%CI: 7.60-34.32) for those with HBV-DNA ? 2000 IU/ml and HBsAg ? 1000 IU/ml. CONCLUSION:Elevated levels of HBV-DNA and HBsAg are associated with increased risks of liver cancer. Chronic HBsAg carriers may be suggested to simultaneously lower the viral load to < 2000 IU/ml and HBsAg level to < 100 IU/ml to lower their liver cancer risk.
Project description:Telbivudine has been suggested to induce hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) decline to the similar degree as pegylated interferon. We aimed to investigate whether telbivudine could further decrease HBsAg titer in patients who maintain undetectable serum hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA after initial entecavir treatment.In this open-label trial, patients who had serum HBsAg and HBV DNA levels ≥1,000 IU/mL and <60 IU/mL, respectively, following entecavir (0.5 mg/day) treatment for HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B were randomized to either switch treatment to telbivudine (600 mg/day, n = 47) or continue entecavir (n = 50) for 48 weeks.The baseline characteristics were comparable between groups including HBsAg levels (median, 3.41 log10 IU/mL). All patients had undetectable HBV DNA and normal alanine aminotransferase level. At week 48, the mean change in serum HBsAg levels was not significantly different between the telbivudine and entecavir groups (-0.03 log10 IU/mL vs. -0.05 log10 IU/mL; P = 0.57). No patient experienced HBsAg seroclearance or HBsAg decline >0.5 log10 IU/mL. Eleven patients (23.4%) in the telbivudine group, but none in the entecavir group, experienced virologic breakthrough (P < 0.001). Seven patients (14.9%) exhibited genotypic resistance mutations (M204I +/- L180M) during the virologic breakthrough.Sequential therapy with entecavir followed by telbivudine resulted in a high rate of virologic breakthrough and drug-resistance without any beneficial effect on HBsAg decline. These results do not support the use of low genetic barrier drugs as a switch treatment strategy in patients who achieve virologic response with high genetic barrier drugs.NCT01595685 (date of trial registration: May 8, 2012).
Project description:Monotherapy with interferon or nucleoside analog is generally not recommended during the immune-tolerant (IT) phase of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Recognition that high HBV DNA levels are associated with hepatocellular carcinoma has increased interest in treating HBV in the IT phase. Small pediatric studies reported efficacy with combination nucleoside analog and interferon therapy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the combination of entecavir and peginterferon in adults in the IT phase of chronic HBV infection. Hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive adults with HBV DNA > 107 IU/mL and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) ? 1.5 times the upper limit of normal (ULN) (male: ? 45, female: ? 30 U/L) received entecavir 0.5 mg daily for 8 weeks followed by the addition of peginterferon alfa-2a 180 µg/week to entecavir for an additional 40 weeks. The primary endpoint was HBeAg loss and HBV DNA ? 1,000 IU/mL 48 weeks after end of treatment (EOT). Among 28 participants from 11 sites, the median age was 37.2 (range: 22-61) years, 54% were male, and 96% were Asian. Nearly all were infected with genotype C (64%) or B (32%). Median baseline HBV DNA was 8.2 log10 IU/mL, and ALT was 0.9 times the ULN. Although one (4%) participant cleared HBeAg, none met the primary endpoint of both HBeAg loss AND HBV DNA ? 1,000 IU/mL 48 weeks post-EOT. ALT elevations > 5 times the ULN occurred in eight (29%) participants, and none were associated with icterus. Forty-eight weeks posttreatment, HBV DNA rebounded to baseline levels in all participants, including the participant who lost HBeAg, and ALT values returned to near baseline levels in all but four participants. Conclusion: A lead-in strategy of 8 weeks of entecavir followed by combination peginterferon and entecavir therapy for 40 weeks had limited efficacy in adults in the IT phase of chronic HBV infection and cannot be recommended.