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).