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J Clin Transl Hepatol. 2016 Jun 28;4(2):143-50. doi: 10.14218/JCTH.2016.00005. Epub 2016 Jun 15.

Hepatitis B Reactivation with Novel Agents in Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and Prevention Strategies.

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Emergency and Trauma Center, Tampa General Hospital, Tampa, FL, USA.
Department of Hematological Malignancies, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, USA.
Oncology and Hematology, Mercy Clinic Joplin, Joplin, MO, USA.


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains an endemic disease in most parts of the world despite available prophylactic vaccines. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is the most common hematological malignancy, and certain patients undergoing therapy are at increased risk of HBV reactivation. Rituximab, a monoclonal antibody, is well studied in HBV reactivation, but newer agents have been implicated as well. Here, we review novel agents suspected in HBV reactivation and effective strategies to prevent HBV reactivation. Fifteen years of literature were reviewed in order to better understand the reactivation rates of hepatitis B in patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Anti-CD20 antibodies continue to be the main medications that can lead to HBV reactivation, and HBV reactivation rates have decreased with increased awareness. HBV reactivation is uncommon when using other novel agents. Entecavir and lamivudine remain the agents of choice to prevent HBV reactivation in high risk patients. In conclusion, the immunosuppressive effect of NHL and its therapy provide a pathway for HBV reactivation, especially in patients treated with anti-CD20 antibody. Since many HBV positive patients are often excluded from clinical trials of novel agents in NHL, more aggressive post-market surveillance of new agents, well-designed best practice advisories, and timely case reports are needed to reduce the incidence of HBV reactivation. Lastly, large prospective investigations coupled with well-utilized best practice advisories need to be conducted to understand the impact of more potent novel NHL therapy on HBV reactivation.


Anti-CD20 antibody; Best practice advisories; HBV reactivation; Hepatitis B virus; Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; Rituximab

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