EASL 2014: Pegylated Interferon Improves Entecavir Response in Patients With Hepatitis B e Antigen-Positive Chronic Hepatitis B

LONDON -- April 11, 2014 -- Patients with hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive chronic hepatitis B show improved response in eliminating viral load after pegylated interferon (peg interferon) is added to entecavir therapy, according to trial data reported at the International Liver Congress, the 49th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL).

Willem Pieter Brouwer, MD, PhD, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands headed an international team in conducting this multicentre, controlled trial. He reported results here on April 10 that included data up to 96 weeks after randomisation to either add-on peg interferon alpha 2a (180µg/week) from weeks 24 to 48 (n = 85), or continued entecavir monotherapy (0.5mg/day) (n = 90).

The trial’s primary endpoint was met when a data analysis at week 48 showed the response rate was nearly doubled in the add-on group; the response rate was 19% in the peginterferon group and 10% in those receiving monotherapy (P = .005).


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