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Cure as a treatment goal for chronic hepatitis B?
Mar 12, 2005

I have seen many medical websites stating that there is no cure for chronic hepatitis B, only management options. However, I have also come across studies showing that sustained loss of HBsAG occur in 8-10% of patients treated with Interferon 2B. I hope you can help me shed light on a few questions:

1. Are people who experience permanent loss of HBsAG not considered cured?

2. If they are indeed cured, would it not be worth it to go through interferon treatment event if it was not otherwise indicated? I know that 10% are not good odds, but if the alternative is living with the lifelong stress of knowing you have a chronic serious illness, it would seem worth it to me.

3. Are there any drugs in the pipeline that show more potential than Interferon 2B to permanently eradicate HBsAG (such as Interferon 2A)?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts on these questions.

Regards Pete

Response from Dr. McGovern

Patients who lose surface antigen are considered "cured" of hepatitis B.

The results with PEG interferon are actually better than 10 percent.

New treatments are on the horizon including entecavir which looks very potent.

Hopefully we will also learn how to combine these treatments better so we can get better results overall for our patients.

Dr. McGovern



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