Efficacy of Pre-S-containing HBV Vaccine Combined with Lamivudine in the Treatment of Chronic HBV Infection

Senturk H., TABAK Ö. F., Ozaras R., Erdem L., Canbakan B., Mert A., ...More

DIGESTIVE DISEASES AND SCIENCES, vol.54, no.9, pp.2026-2030, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 54 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10620-008-0586-2
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.2026-2030
  • Bezmialem Vakıf University Affiliated: No


Treatment of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) is difficult. The response rate to interferon (IFN) as well as nucleoside analogs is not more than 30% in general. While interferon has many side effects, development of resistance in most of the nucleoside analogs precludes long-term use. Both groups of drugs are most efficacious in patients who already had or develop strong cellular immunity with treatment. A pre-S2-containing vaccine was shown to enhance cellular immunity and suppress hepatitis B virus (HBV)-DNA in subjects with chronic hepatitis B. We aimed to test the efficacy of short-term use of a nucleoside analog in combination with a pre-S2-containing vaccine in patients with CHB. In this open study, 48 consecutive patients (32 males and 16 females, mean age +/- A SD: 33 +/- A 12 years) with CHB without cirrhosis were treated with 100 mg/day lamivudine and four weekly intramuscular injections of Genhevac B 20 mcg (six doses) for 24 weeks. While 19 patients were hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) positive (+ve), 29 patients were Anti-HBe/HBV-DNA +ve at the outset. Response was defined as seroconversion to anti-HBe in HBeAg +ve subjects and normalization of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) with loss of HBV-DNA in anti-HBe/HBV-DNA +ve subjects. HBeAg seroconversion occurred in 5/19 subjects (26%). Eighteen of 29 anti-HBe/HBV-DNA +ves responded. In the follow-up, while relapse was not observed in any of the patients who seroconverted, 11/18 from the anti-HBe/HBV-DNA +ve group relapsed, resulting in a sustained response (SR) rate of 24% in this group. All the relapses happened in the first 48 weeks of follow-up, with no relapse thereafter. Pretreatment high serum HBV-DNA was a strong negative predictor of sustained response (SR) in HBeAg +ve group. Pretreatment serum ALT over 2 x upper limit of normal and HBV-DNA less than 200 pg/ml appeared positive predictors. None of HBeAg +ve previous interferon failures responded. Twenty-four weeks of lamivudine and hepatitis B vaccine treatment induces SR in around 1/4 of the patients with CHB. Most of the responders had high ALT and relatively low DNA.