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Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2009 Oct;10(15):2399-406. doi: 10.1517/14656560903251710.

Lamivudine for the prevention of hepatitis B virus reactivation after high-dose chemotherapy and autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for patients with advanced or relapsed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma single institution experience.

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Sun Yat-sen University, Cancer Center, Department of Medical Oncology, Guangzhou 510060, PR China.



Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation is a well-known complication in cancer patients receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy, resulting in varying degrees of liver damage. The objective of this study was to investigate the efficacy of lamivudine for the prevention of HBV reactivation in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) patients undergoing high-dose chemotherapy and autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT).


Thirty-two patients with NHL who were HBV surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive were enrolled in this pilot study. They were divided into two groups: 20 patients received prophylactic oral lamivudine 100 mg/day before, and until at least 6 months after transplantation. The historical control group comprised 12 patients who received high-dose chemotherapy and AHSCT without lamivudine. The incidence and severity of hepatitis due to HBV reactivation, as well as other adverse clinical outcomes, were compared between the two groups.


Most baseline clinical characteristics were similar in the two groups, except for HBV e-antigen (HBeAg)-positive status (85% in the lamivudine group vs 33.3% in the control group, p = 0.006) and the type of AHSCT. There was a lower incidence of hepatitis due to HBV reactivation in the lamivudine group than in the control group (10 vs 50%, p = 0.030), less severe hepatitis (0 vs 25%, p = 0.009), and lower mortality (0 vs 25%, p = 0.236). An HBV variant with tyrosine methionine aspartate aspartate (YMDD) mutation was detected in one patient in the lamivudine group (5%) after administration of lamivudine for 9 months. No significant adverse events were associated with the use of prophylactic lamivudine, and hematopoietic reconstitution was not affected by the intervention.


Prophylactic lamivudine may reduce the incidence and severity of chemotherapy-related HBV reactivation and hepatitis-related mortality in HBsAg-positive NHL patients receiving high-dose chemotherapy and AHSCT. Additional randomized, multicenter trials are warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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