Lamivudine and combination therapy for interferon
Lamivudine treatment for 52 weeks is as effective in
nonresponders as in treatment-naive patients, finds a research
the United States.
Lamivudine is effective in treatment-naive patients with
B. However, its role in interferon nonresponders has not been
In this study, researchers assessed lamivudine, with or
in patients with hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive
chronic hepatitis B
who had failed interferon therapy.
Their findings are published in the June issue of the Journal
The team randomized 238 patients to either lamivudine (100
mg), or placebo,
for 52 weeks, or to a 24-week regimen of lamivudine plus
They compared treatments at week 52, and followed-up patients
16-week post-treatment period.
- lamivudine = 52%
- combination = 32%
- placebo = 25%
The team measured histology, HBeAg response, normalization of
aminotransferase, reduction of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA,
The researchers found that histologic response was more common
treated with lamivudine (52%), or the combination regimen
(32%), than the
Furthermore, HBeAg loss was more common with lamivudine (33%),
with the combination treatment (21%) or the placebo (13%).
Virologic and alanine aminotransferase responses were also
better with the
The team found that among 28 subjects with HBeAg loss/seroconversion,
had durable responses 16 weeks post-treatment.
Dr Eugene Schiff's team concluded, "Lamivudine for 52
weeks is as effective
in interferon nonresponders as in previously reported
"However, a combination of lamivudine for 24 weeks and
interferon for 16
weeks was not effective in this population".
J Hepatol 2003; 38(6): 818-26
21 May 2003