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Antiviral Treatment for Hepatitis B Improves Liver Function after Decompensation

Early treatment with antiviral therapy can restore liver function and increase survival in chronic hepatitis B patients with decompensated cirrhosis who might otherwise need a liver transplant, according to a Korean study published in the June 2015 issue of Hepatology.

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ASCO 2015: PD-1 Checkpoint Inhibitor Nivolumab Shows Promise against Liver Cancer

Bristol-Myers Squibb's PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab (Opdivo) was a star of the show at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting this week in Chicago, with study results showing that the drug demonstrated anti-tumor activity against hepatocellular carcinoma in a Phase 1/2 study, along with further Phase 3 evidence of its effectiveness against lung cancer and melanoma.

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EASL 2015: Prenylation Inhibitor Lonafarnib Lowers Hepatitis Delta Viral Load During Therapy

Lonafarnib, a farnesyl transferase inhibitor that interferes with viral assembly, reduced hepatitis delta virus (HDV) levels by more than 3 log in a Phase 2 study presented at the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) 50th International Liver Congress last month in Vienna. Combining lonafarnib with pegylated interferon for 8 weeks led to significantly greater HDV RNA declines than lonafarnib alone, but boosting with ritonavir achieved an even greater effect with an all-oral regimen. HDV viral load rose again after stopping therapy, however, and researchers are now evaluating longer treatment durations.

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EASL 2015: HBV Patients on Long-term Entecavir or Tenofovir Have Low Mortality, HCC Still a Risk

More than 95% of people with chronic hepatitis B were still alive after 5 years on antiviral therapy with entecavir (Baraclude) or tenofovir (Viread), and most deaths were due to non-liver-related causes, but hepatocellular carcinoma was still a major factor affecting mortality, researchers reported presented at the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) 50th International Liver Congress last month in Vienna. 

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Everolimus Did Not Improve Survival for Advanced Liver Cancer Patients

The mTOR inhibitor everolimus (Afinator) failed to increase overall survival for people with advanced hepatocellular carccinoma (HCC) who were previously unsuccessfully treated with sorafenib, according to results from the EVOLVE-1 trial published in the July 2 edition of JAMA.

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