Friday, April 15, 2016

Common treatment for hepatitis B may quadruple risk of colorectal cancer

CANCER DIGEST – April 15, 2016 – Drugs used to suppress the growth of the hepatitis B virus in the liver may increase the risk of colorectal and cervical cancers, researchers say. 

The drugs, called nucleos(t)ide analogues have been shown to be effective in disrupting the action of enzymes that play key roles how the virus reproduces. The drugs include lamivudine, adefovir, entecavir, telbivudine and tenofovir. The Chinese study findings were presented at the International Liver Congress being held this week in Barcelona, Spain.
They had selected 45,299 patients who had been diagnosed with chronic HBV. Of these, 7,323 (16.16%) had undergone nucleos(t)ide analogue treatment. The research team wanted to see if patients receiving the treatment developed certain less common forms of liver cancer.  They followed the participants for seven years, and during this period measured the relative risk of the cancers in patients with or without nucleos(t)ide analogue treatment.

After a median follow-up of 4.4 years (half had been participating longer and half had participated for less than that) liver cancers had occurred in 538 (2.1%) of those who had not received nucleos(t)ice treatment compared to 274 (5.7%) of those who had undergone the treatment.

The researchers also found, however, that the risk of colorectal cancer was twice as high in the treated group and four times higher for cervical cancer compared to those who had not been treated. There was little difference between the two groups for other cancers such as lung, breast or kidney cancer.

"Although our analysis showed that nucleos(t)ide analogue treatment does not increase overall incidence of liver, lung, breast and urinary/renal malignancies, it did reveal that patients with Hepatitis B virus on this treatment had a higher risk of developing colorectal and cervical cancers," said Professor Grace Wong, Department of Medicine & Therapeutics Academic at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and lead study author. "In light of these findings we strongly urge regular screening of these cancers to help prevent them from developing in patients taking nucleos(t)ide analogue treatment."

1 comment:

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