Despite the introduction of new nucleos(t)ide analogues in recent years, peginterferon is still recommended as a potential first-line treatment option by current practice guidelines for the management of chronic hepatitis B. Peginterferon offers the advantage of higher sustained off-treatment response rates compared to nucleos(t)ide analogues because of its immunomodulatory effects. Sustained transition to the inactive hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) carrier state can be achieved in about 30% of hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive patients and 20% of HBeAg-negative patients. Recent studies have focused on identification of pretreatment and on-treatment factors that allow the selection of patients who are likely to achieve a sustained response to peginterferon therapy in order to avoid the side-effects and costs associated with unnecessary treatment. Future studies need to address whether specific virologic benchmarks can guide individualized decisions concerning therapy continuation and whether peginterferon combined with new potent nucleos(t)ide analogues improves treatment outcomes.

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Keywords Antiviral therapy, HBV, Interferon, Nucleos(t)ide analogues, adefovir, agitation, alanine aminotransferase, alpha interferon, anorexia, antigen presentation, bone marrow suppression, cell activation, circular DNA, clinical trial, cytokine production, depression, drug cost, drug tolerability, entecavir, fatigue, flu like syndrome, headache, hepatitis, hepatitis B, hepatitis B surface antigen, hepatitis B(e) antigen, human, immunocompetent cell, immunomodulation, individualization, injection site reaction, lamivudine, medical decision making, myalgia, natural killer cell, neutropenia, outcome assessment, patient selection, peginterferon alpha2a, peginterferon alpha2b, practice guideline, prediction, review, ribavirin, seroconversion, side effect, sleep disorder, telbivudine, tenofovir, thrombocytopenia, thyroid disease, treatment duration, treatment indication, treatment outcome, unnecessary procedure, virus DNA, virus RNA, virus protein
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11901-010-0055-1, hdl.handle.net/1765/22088
Journal Current Hepatitis Reports
Citation
Rijckborst, V, & Janssen, H.L.A. (2010). The role of interferon in hepatitis B therapy. Current Hepatitis Reports (Vol. 9, pp. 231–238). doi:10.1007/s11901-010-0055-1