Does chemotherapy prevent HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma? Pros

Yun Fan Liaw*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

8 Scopus citations


Studies have shown that hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication is the key driver of disease progression, including development of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), in patients with chronic HBV infection. Among the currently available anti-HBV drugs, the most extensive and longest experience has been gained with conventional interferon α (IFN) and lamivudine. Both controlled studies and meta-analyses have shown that a finite course of IFN therapy has long-term benefit in achieving cumulative response and corresponding reduction of cirrhosis and/or HCC. Maintained virological response to lamivudine therapy has similar long-term benefits in reducing disease progression. Although emergence of lamivudine drug resistance may negate therapeutic effect, rescue drugs are now available to overcome the adverse effect of drug resistance. Pegylated IFN and newer nucleos(t)ide analogs may have even better long-term outcomes because of better therapeutic efficacy and/or much lower risk of drug resistances. However, the treatment outcomes are still far from satisfactory. The development of safe and affordable anti-HBV agents/strategies is needed to further improve outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S293-S297
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
StatePublished - 07 2010


  • Cirrhosis
  • Drug resistance
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Interferon α
  • Nucleos(t)ide analogs
  • Pegylated interferon


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