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High HBV Viral Load Predicts Liver Fibrosis and Cancer

High hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA levels were associated with worse liver fibrosis, hepatitis reactivation, and development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in hepatitis B "e" antigen (HBeAg) negative patients in 2 recent studies described in the July 2011 Journal of Viral Hepatitis.alt

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Deferoxamine Shows Promise for Liver Cancer in People with Advanced Disease

Deferoxamine, a cancer drug that has an anti-proliferative effect on tumor cells, led to improvement of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in 2 out of 10 patients with moderate-to-severe liver disease, according to a letter in the August 11, 2011, New England Journal of Medicine.

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Artificial Liver Device Improves Survival for Hepatitis B and C Patients with Decompensated Disease

An artificial liver device known as ELAD -- which runs a patient's blood through cartridges containing human liver cells -- conferred a significant survival advantage for people with acute decompensated liver disease related to chronic hepatitis B or C, according to a Chinese study presented at the recent American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases "Liver Meeting" (AASLD 2010) in Boston. After 3 years, 44% of ELAD users were still alive without liver transplants, compared with 18% in the standard therapy group.

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One-quarter of Patients Clear Hepatitis Delta with Pegylated Interferon

Treatment with pegylated interferon (Pegasys) -- either alone or in combination with the antiviral drug adefovir (Hepsera) -- led to clearance of hepatitis delta virus (HDV) and improvement in liver enzyme levels, according to a small study published in the January 27, 2011, New England Journal of Medicine. Adefovir alone, however, had no effect on HDV.

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Alcohol and Diabetes Increase Risk of Liver Disease Progression in Hepatitis B Patients

Older patients and men with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection were more likely to progress to liver cancer, decompensated cirrhosis, and liver-related death, while Asian patients had lower progression rates, according to an analysis of Kaiser Permanent members presented at the recent American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases "Liver Meeting" (AASLD 2010) in Boston. Diabetes and heavy alcohol use also predicted poor outcomes.

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Does Previous Hepatitis B Exposure Increase Liver Cancer Risk?

People who were previously exposed to hepatitis B virus (HBV) have an increased likelihood of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) even if they clear the virus, according to a study presented at the recent American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases "Liver Meeting" (AASLD 2010) in Boston. These results suggest that individuals with prior HBV exposure, as well as those with chronic hepatitis B, could benefit from regular liver cancer monitoring.Jeffrey Tang and colleagues from Henry Ford Health System in Detroit conducted a retrospective cohort study to explore the association between hepatitis B serologic status and development of HCC among North American patients.

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Androgen Receptor May Explain Why More Men with Hepatitis B Develop Liver Cancer

Androgen receptors -- proteins on cell surfaces that bind with male hormones like testosterone -- interact directly with hepatitis B virus (HBV) to turn on genes that trigger cell changes leading to liver cancer, according to a study published in the May 19, 2010 issue of Science Translational Medicine. Because androgen receptors are more active in men, this finding helps explain why men with chronic hepatitis B are about 3 times more likely than women to develop hepatocellular carcinoma.

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