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Hepatology. 2003 Jun;37(6):1309-19.

Serum HBV DNA as a marker of efficacy during therapy for chronic HBV infection: analysis and review of the literature.

Author information

1
Triangle Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Durham, NC 27717, USA. Mommejh@tripharm.com

Abstract

Currently, compounds under evaluation for treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection are evaluated with liver histology as the primary end point for efficacy. However, because of practical limitations in serial liver biopsies, there is a need for alternate markers to assess efficacy over shorter periods of time. Considering the direct correlation between viral replication and disease progression during human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C virus infection, we explored whether such a correlation exists for HBV infection. We reviewed the literature and conducted an analysis to investigate the relationship between absolute or treatment-induced changes in HBV DNA levels and other accepted markers of disease activity. A total of 26 prospective studies met our selection criteria, including 33 evaluable treatment arms. The study treatments consisted of nucleosides and/or interferon regimens and control arms. We found statistically significant and consistent correlations between viral load level or change and histologic grading and biochemical and serologic response. Our analysis suggests that a treatment-induced reduction in HBV DNA level can be used for assessing efficacy of treatment regimens. Further, we observed that quantitative HBV DNA has a broader dynamic range than histology, allowing demonstration of differences between 2 active treatments of unequal potency. The analysis showed stronger results in studies using nucleoside regimens and in hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive patients. In conclusion, the goal of anti-HBV therapy should be profound and durable viral suppression, as defined by very sensitive assays. Additional prospective studies are needed to precisely determine the desirable level of viremia to attain.

PMID:
12774009
DOI:
10.1053/jhep.2003.50208
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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