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Korean J Gastroenterol  <  Volume 74(5); 2019 <  Articles

Korean J Gastroenterol 2019; 74(5): 251-257  https://doi.org/10.4166/kjg.2019.74.5.251
Long Term Efficacy of Antiviral Therapy: Mortality and Incidence of Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Hyun Woong Lee
Department of Internal Medicine, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence to: Hyun Woong Lee, Department of Internal Medicine, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, 211 Eonju-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 06273, Korea. Tel: +82-2-2019-3315, Fax: +82-2-3463-3882, E-mail: lhwdoc@yuhs.ac, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6958-3035
Received: November 1, 2019; Revised: November 14, 2019; Accepted: November 15, 2019; Published online: November 25, 2019.
© The Korean Journal of Gastroenterology. All rights reserved.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Multiple studies have shown that oral antiviral therapies reduced the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and improved the survival of patients with chronic hepatitis B when compared with that of untreated patients. In particular, entecavir and tenofovir share the qualities of high efficacy in reducing the HBV DNA levels, and they have excellent tolerability and safety. These drugs modified the natural history of liver fibrosis, improve liver function, decrease the incidence of HCC, decrease the need for liver transplantation, and improve survival. Many studies have suggested that long-term antiviral therapy reduces the risk of HCC and liver cirrhosis in patients with chronic hepatitis. The mechanism of these drugs in reducing the risk of HCC is not clear. This article reviews the mechanisms of carcinogenic HBV by conducting a review of the literature on the efficacy of therapy for reducing the risk of HCC. A few recent articles have suggested that tenofovir offers advantages over entecavir in terms of HCC prevention, but these articles have the inherent limitations of observational data. No other head-to-head randomized trials exist. Further randomized studies would help provide stronger evidence of the association between the type of antiviral agent and the HCC outcomes. Only achieving complete viral eradication from the liver will truly decrease the mortality and incidence of HCC.
Keywords: Antiviral agents; Hepatitis B, chronic; Mortality; Carcinoma, hepatocellular

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