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      Update on rescue therapies in patients with lamivudine-resistant chronic hepatitis B

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          Chronic hepatitis B continues to be a global problem, with an estimated 240 million cases according to the World Health Organization. Chronic infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) is associated with cirrhosis, hepatic decompensation, and hepatocellular carcinoma. There are currently several US Food and Drug Administration-approved medications for treating chronic hepatitis B, with Lamivudine (LAM) being the first oral agent made available. The major problem with LAM is significantly decreased effectiveness over time due to the development of anti-HBV resistance that can lead to virologic and biochemical breakthrough as well as hepatitis B flare, progression of liver disease, and decompensation of pre-existing cirrhosis. Despite its high anti-HBV resistant rate, LAM remains widely used in underdeveloped countries due to its wide availability and low cost compared to other antiviral medications, including those that are more effective. Therefore, it is still clinically important to learn how to prevent and treat LAM resistant strains of HBV. Several regimens with the other available antiviral agents have been studied, including switching to monotherapy with either Adefovir, Entecavir, or Tenofovir, adding Adefovir to LAM, and switching to a combination of Adefovir and Entecavir. This review article will examine molecular mechanisms and diagnosis of LAM anti-HBV resistance, risks for and approaches to reduce LAM anti-HBV resistance, and currently available rescue therapy regimens for LAM resistance.

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          Most cited references 51

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          Asian-Pacific consensus statement on the management of chronic hepatitis B: a 2008 update

          Large amounts of new data on the natural history and treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection have become available since 2005. These include long-term follow-up studies in large community-based cohorts or asymptomatic subjects with chronic HBV infection, further studies on the role of HBV genotype/naturally occurring HBV mutations, treatment of drug resistance and new therapies. In addition, Pegylated interferon α2a, entecavir and telbivudine have been approved globally. To update HBV management guidelines, relevant new data were reviewed and assessed by experts from the region, and the significance of the reported findings were discussed and debated. The earlier “Asian-Pacific consensus statement on the management of chronic hepatitis B” was revised accordingly. The key terms used in the statement were also defined. The new guidelines include general management, special indications for liver biopsy in patients with persistently normal alanine aminotransferase, time to start or stop drug therapy, choice of drug to initiate therapy, when and how to monitor the patients during and after stopping drug therapy. Recommendations on the therapy of patients in special circumstances, including women in childbearing age, patients with antiviral drug resistance, concurrent viral infection, hepatic decompensation, patients receiving immune-suppressive medications or chemotherapy and patients in the setting of liver transplantation, are also included.
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            Long-term monitoring shows hepatitis B virus resistance to entecavir in nucleoside-naïve patients is rare through 5 years of therapy.

            Patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection who develop antiviral resistance lose benefits of therapy and may be predisposed to further resistance. Entecavir (ETV) resistance (ETVr) results from HBV reverse transcriptase substitutions at positions T184, S202, or M250, which emerge in the presence of lamivudine (LVD) resistance substitutions M204I/V +/- L180M. Here, we summarize results from comprehensive resistance monitoring of patients with HBV who were continuously treated with ETV for up to 5 years. Monitoring included genotypic analysis of isolates from all patients at baseline and when HBV DNA was detectable by polymerase chain reaction (> or = 300 copies/mL) from Years 1 through 5. In addition, genotyping was performed on isolates from patients experiencing virologic breakthrough (> or = 1 log(10) rise in HBV DNA). In vitro phenotypic ETV susceptibility was determined for virologic breakthrough isolates, and for HBV containing novel substitutions emerging during treatment. The results over 5 years of therapy showed that in nucleoside-naïve patients, the cumulative probability of genotypic ETVr and genotypic ETVr associated with virologic breakthrough was 1.2% and 0.8%, respectively. In contrast, a reduced barrier to resistance was observed in LVD-refractory patients, as the LVD resistance substitutions, a partial requirement for ETVr, preexist, resulting in a 5-year cumulative probability of genotypic ETVr and genotypic ETVr associated with breakthrough of 51% and 43%, respectively. Importantly, only four patients who achieved < 300 copies/mL HBV DNA subsequently developed ETVr. Long-term monitoring showed low rates of resistance in nucleoside-naïve patients during 5 years of ETV therapy, corresponding with potent viral suppression and a high genetic barrier to resistance. These findings support ETV as a primary therapy that enables prolonged treatment with potent viral suppression and minimal resistance.
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              Telbivudine versus lamivudine in patients with chronic hepatitis B.

              Reducing hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication to minimal levels is emerging as a key therapeutic goal for chronic hepatitis B. In this double-blind, phase 3 trial, 1370 patients with chronic hepatitis B were randomly assigned to receive 600 mg of telbivudine or 100 mg of lamivudine once daily. The primary efficacy end point was noninferiority of telbivudine to lamivudine for therapeutic response (i.e., a reduction in serum HBV DNA levels to fewer than 5 log10 copies per milliliter, along with loss of hepatitis B e antigen [HBeAg] or normalization of alanine aminotransferase levels). Secondary efficacy measures included histologic response, changes in serum HBV DNA levels, and HBeAg responses. At week 52, a significantly higher proportion of HBeAg-positive patients receiving telbivudine than of those receiving lamivudine had a therapeutic response (75.3% vs. 67.0%, P=0.005) or a histologic response (64.7% vs. 56.3%, P=0.01); telbivudine also was not inferior to lamivudine for these end points in HBeAg-negative patients. In HBeAg-positive and HBeAg-negative patients, telbivudine was superior to lamivudine with respect to the mean reduction in the number of copies of HBV DNA from baseline, the proportion of patients with a reduction in HBV DNA to levels undetectable by polymerase-chain-reaction assay, and development of resistance to the drug. Elevated creatine kinase levels were more common in patients who received telbivudine, whereas elevated alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase levels were more common in those who received lamivudine. Among patients with HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B, the rates of therapeutic and histologic response at 1 year were significantly higher in patients treated with telbivudine than in patients treated with lamivudine. In both the HBeAg-negative and the HBeAg-positive groups, telbivudine demonstrated greater HBV DNA suppression with less resistance than did lamivudine. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00057265 [ClinicalTrials.gov].). Copyright 2007 Massachusetts Medical Society.

                Author and article information

                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                20 August 2013
                : 7
                : 777-788
                Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of California, Irvine Medical Center, Orange, CA, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Ke-Qin Hu Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of California, Irvine, 101 The City Drive, Building 56, Rt 81, Room 237, Orange, CA 92868, USA, Tel +1 714 456 6926, Fax +1 714 456 3283, Email kqhu@ 123456uci.edu
                © 2013 Chao and Hu, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd

                This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.



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