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FDA Warns of Hepatitis B Reactivation Risk with Immune-suppressing Cancer Drugs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced this week that it has approved labeling changes for 2 monoclonal antibody cancer drugs, ofatumumab (Arzerra) and rituximab (Rituxan), adding a stronger "black box" warning that they may cause hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation.

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Human Stem Cells Used to Create Functional Liver Cells in Mice

Researchers have discovered a way to generate functional hepatocytes (liver cells) from human stem cells, which worked as expected and increased survival when transplanted into mice with acute liver injury, researchers reported in the July 9, 2013, advance online edition of Stem Cells and Development.

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Everolimus (Zortress) Approved to Prevent Liver Transplant Rejection

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this month approved the immunosuppressant drug everolimus (brand name Zortress) for preventing organ rejection in people who undergo liver transplantation. A recent large study found that everolimus was easier on the kidneys when used in combination with low-dose tacrolimus (Prograf).

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DDW 2013: Does HBV Suppression Prevent Liver Disease Progression?

Chronic hepatitis B patients with cirrhosis may still experience liver disease progression even if they undergo antiviral treatment and achieve good virological response, according to a poster presented at the Digestive Disease Week meeting (DDW 2013) last month in Orlando.

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Heavy Alcohol Use Increases Liver Cancer Risk for People with Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B patients with liver cirrhosis who consumed large amounts of alcohol were more likely to develop hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) than people who drank less, according to a report in the December 6, 2012, online edition of the Journal of Hepatology. However, antiviral treatment can help prevent liver cancer.

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Low Vitamin D Linked to Greater Hepatitis B Virus Replication

Low blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D were strongly associated with higher hepatitis B virus (HBV) viral load in a study of more than 200 untreated patients described in the May 22, 2013 advance online edition of Hepatology.

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Liver Disease Is Leading Cause of Death for People with Chronic Hepatitis B

Advanced liver disease caused by hepatitis B virus (HBV) -- including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and decompensated cirrhosis -- accounted for more than 40% of deaths of people with chronic hepatitis B in a large health maintenance organization, researchers reported in the December 12, 2012, advance online edition of Hepatology.

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