Department of Internal Medicine/Gastroenterology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Harper University Hospital, 6 Hudson, 3990 John R, Detroit, MI, 48201.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes both acute and chronic hepatitis and infects large numbers of individuals worldwide. Unfortunately, prediction of typical clinical outcome is problematic and there is considerable variability in the frequency, duration and severity of disease progression. The mainstay of HBV treatment is directed towards the suppression of HBV replication by nucleos(t)ide analogs (NUCs). The use of immunomodulators such as α-Interferon and thymosin α1 can, in select patients, result in elimination of both HBsAg and HBeAg. Given the observation that viral clearance is most effective in the presence of a strong immune response, this review summarizes data suggesting that the use of a combination of an immune modulator such as Tα1 with a highly effective NUC may result in a more successful therapeutic approach in patients with chronic hepatitis B. Results from small studies using combination Tα1 and NUCs are encouraging and ongoing clinical trials combining Entecavir with Tα1 are anticipated to provide important data assessing the use of a combination of Tα1 with a NUC to achieve resolution of CHB This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.