Liver international : official journal of the International Association for the Study of the Liver

Four-year entecavir therapy reduces hepatocellular carcinoma, cirrhotic events and mortality in chronic hepatitis B patients.

PMID 27634134


Oral antiviral therapy may reduce the disease progression of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients. We aimed to further investigate the efficacy of long-term entecavir therapy in reduction of the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), cirrhotic events and mortality in a large group of CHB-related cirrhosis patients. The C-TEAM (Cirrhosis-Taiwanese EntecAvir Multicenter) study was a nationwide, multicenter, retrospective-prospective cohort study in Taiwan. We enrolled treatment-naïve patients with CHB-related cirrhosis and baseline HBV-DNA≥2000xa0IU/mL receiving long-term entecavir therapy and compared the development of HCC, cirrhotic events and mortality with that of a historical untreated cohort. In total, 1315 entecavir-treated and 503 untreated patients with cirrhosis were enrolled, with median treatment and follow-up durations of 4 and 6xa0years respectively. Compared with the untreated cohort, entecavir therapy was associated with a 60% HCC risk reduction [hazard ratio (HR): 0.40, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.28-0.57]. Additionally, an older age, the male gender, HBeAg positivity, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)≥7xa0ng/mL before therapy were independent predictors of HCC development. Further analysis showed that entecavir therapy significantly reduced risks of variceal bleeding, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, and liver-related and all-cause mortality. These findings were confirmed by propensity score-matched cohorts in sensitivity analysis. In patients under entecavir therapy, an older age, the male gender, HBeAg positivity, AFP level ≥7xa0ng/mL before therapy, and 1-year virological response were predictive of HCC development. Four-year entecavir therapy significantly reduces the risk of HCC, cirrhotic events and mortality in patients with CHB-related cirrhosis.

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Entecavir, ≥98% (HPLC)