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J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2015 Aug;35(8):613-20. doi: 10.1089/jir.2014.0234. Epub 2015 Apr 17.

Long-Term Outcome of Sequential Therapy with Lamivudine Followed by Interferon-β in Nucleoside-Naive, Hepatitis B e-Antigen-Positive Patients with Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Genotype C Infection.

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1 Department of Hepatology, Osaka City University Medical School , Osaka, Japan .
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Hyogo College of Medicine , Nishinomiya, Japan .
3 Department of Internal Medicine, Wakakoukai Clinic , Osaka, Japan .
4 Department of Nuclear Medicine, Osaka City University Medical School , Osaka, Japan .


It is unclear whether the combination of a nucleos(t)ide analog and interferon (IFN) is superior to monotherapy for treating chronic hepatitis B. In this study, we report the long-term outcomes of sequential therapy using lamivudine followed by IFN-β. This study included 24 hepatitis B e-antigen (HBeAg)-positive patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotype C infection who were treated with lamivudine alone for 16-32 weeks, then with both IFN-β and lamivudine for 4 weeks, and finally with IFN-β alone for 20 weeks. All patients were followed up for 7.1±2.8 years post-treatment. The rate of response, defined as transaminase normalization, HBeAg loss, and HBV DNA <10(4) copies/mL, was 5/24 (21%) at 24 weeks post-treatment. The patients with short-term responses were younger than those with no response (P=0.039). More short-term responders had undetectable HBV DNA at the start of IFN-β compared with the nonresponders (P=0.0059). Subsequently, 4 of the 5 short-term responders remained free of the need for further drug treatment for 4.2±3.5 years post-treatment; more short-term responders remained drug free than did nonresponders (P=0.035). In conclusion, the rate of response to sequential therapy was limited in HBeAg-positive patients with chronic HBV genotype C infection at 24 weeks post-treatment. In the majority of the short-term responders, however, the response was sustainable in the long term.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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