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      The treatment of chronic hepatitis B: Focus on adefovir-like antivirals

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          Abstract

          Several options for the treatment of hepatitis B have been licensed in the last years: interferon, pegylated interferon, lamivudine, adefovir, entecavir, and telbivudine. In addition tenofovir has been licensed in the EU and is expected to be licensed in the USA in 2008. The antivirals can be divided into “lamivudine-like” and “adefovir-like”, which clinically differ in their capacity to induce “YMDD” mutants, which are the hallmark of lamivudine resistance. The differing resistance profile makes them good combination partners, even in the absence of synergy in antiviral potency.

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          Most cited references 53

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          Chronic hepatitis B.

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            Peginterferon Alfa-2a, lamivudine, and the combination for HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B.

            Current treatments for chronic hepatitis B are suboptimal. In the search for improved therapies, we compared the efficacy and safety of pegylated interferon alfa plus lamivudine, pegylated interferon alfa without lamivudine, and lamivudine alone for the treatment of hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive chronic hepatitis B. A total of 814 patients with HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B received either peginterferon alfa-2a (180 microg once weekly) plus oral placebo, peginterferon alfa-2a plus lamivudine (100 mg daily), or lamivudine alone. The majority of patients in the study were Asian (87 percent). Most patients were infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotype B or C. Patients were treated for 48 weeks and followed for an additional 24 weeks. After 24 weeks of follow-up, significantly more patients who received peginterferon alfa-2a monotherapy or peginterferon alfa-2a plus lamivudine than those who received lamivudine monotherapy had HBeAg seroconversion (32 percent vs. 19 percent [P<0.001] and 27 percent vs. 19 percent [P=0.02], respectively) or HBV DNA levels below 100,000 copies per milliliter (32 percent vs. 22 percent [P=0.01] and 34 percent vs. 22 percent [P=0.003], respectively). Sixteen patients receiving peginterferon alfa-2a (alone or in combination) had hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) seroconversion, as compared with 0 in the group receiving lamivudine alone (P=0.001). The most common adverse events were those known to occur with therapies based on interferon alfa. Serious adverse events occurred in 4 percent, 6 percent, and 2 percent of patients receiving peginterferon alfa-2a monotherapy, combination therapy, and lamivudine monotherapy, respectively. Two patients receiving lamivudine monotherapy had irreversible liver failure after the cessation of treatment--one underwent liver transplantation, and the other died. In patients with HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B, peginterferon alfa-2a offers superior efficacy over lamivudine, on the basis of HBeAg seroconversion, HBV DNA suppression, and HBsAg seroconversion.
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              Peginterferon alfa-2a alone, lamivudine alone, and the two in combination in patients with HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis B.

              Available treatments for hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-negative chronic hepatitis B are associated with poor sustained responses. As a result, nucleoside and nucleotide analogues are typically continued indefinitely, a strategy associated with the risk of resistance and unknown long-term safety implications. We compared the efficacy and safety of peginterferon alfa-2a (180 microg once weekly) plus placebo, peginterferon alfa-2a plus lamivudine (100 mg daily), and lamivudine alone in 177, 179, and 181 patients with HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis B, respectively. Patients were treated for 48 weeks and followed for an additional 24 weeks. After 24 weeks of follow-up, the percentage of patients with normalization of alanine aminotransferase levels or hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA levels below 20,000 copies per milliliter was significantly higher with peginterferon alfa-2a monotherapy (59 percent and 43 percent, respectively) and peginterferon alfa-2a plus lamivudine (60 percent and 44 percent) than with lamivudine monotherapy (44 percent, P=0.004 and P=0.003, respectively; and 29 percent, P=0.007 and P=0.003, respectively). Rates of sustained suppression of HBV DNA to below 400 copies per milliliter were 19 percent with peginterferon alfa-2a monotherapy, 20 percent with combination therapy, and 7 percent with lamivudine alone (P<0.001 for both comparisons with lamivudine alone). Loss of hepatitis B surface antigen occurred in 12 patients in the peginterferon groups, as compared with 0 patients in the group given lamivudine alone. Adverse events, including pyrexia, fatigue, myalgia, and headache, were less frequent with lamivudine monotherapy than with peginterferon alfa-2a monotherapy or combination therapy. Patients with HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis B had significantly higher rates of response, sustained for 24 weeks after the cessation of therapy, with peginterferon alfa-2a than with lamivudine. The addition of lamivudine to peginterferon alfa-2a did not improve post-therapy response rates. Copyright 2004 Massachusetts Medical Society
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-6336
                1178-203X
                August 2008
                August 2008
                : 4
                : 4
                : 797-802
                Affiliations
                Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik II, Universität Leipzig, Germany
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Hans L Tillmann, Duke Clinical Research Institute, 2400, Pratt St, Durham, NC 27705, USA, Tel +1 919 668 4620, Fax +1 919 668 7164, Email Hans.Tillmann@ 123456duke.edu
                Article
                tcrm-4-797
                2621388
                19209262
                © 2008 Dove Medical Press Limited. All rights reserved
                Categories
                Review

                Medicine

                tenofovir, antiviral therapy, almefovir, adefovir, hepatitis b, pradefovir

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