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J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2007 Mar;27(3):201-7.

Lamivudine and IFN-beta sequential therapy in HBe antigen-positive patients with chronic hepatitis B virus genotype C infection.

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Department of Hepatology, Osaka City University Medical School, Osaka 545-8585, Japan.


Sequential treatment with lamivudine and interferon (IFN) has induced sustained biochemical and virologic responses in the majority of patients with chronic hepatitis B in France. However, the efficacy of sequential treatment in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotype C infection has not been evaluated. Twenty-four HBe antigen-positive patients were treated with 100 mg lamivudine alone for 16-32 weeks, then with both 6 MU IFN-beta and lamivudine for 4 weeks, and lastly with IFN-beta alone for 20 weeks. Sustained response was achieved in 7 (29%) patients 24 weeks after the end of therapy. No lamivudine-resistant variants emerged in any patient. Hepatitis flare occurred in 3 patients after the withdrawal of lamivudine, but none had decompensation. The patients with sustained response were significantly younger at baseline (p = 0.033) and had a significantly lower HBV DNA level at the start of IFN (p = 0.020) than those without sustained response. In conclusion, the rate of response to sequential therapy with lamivudine and IFN in HBe antigen-positive patients with HBV genotype C infection was lower than the rate reported previously. Patients who were young or who had a favorable virologic response to lamivudine were more likely to have a sustained response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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