Cambodian Orphan Finds New Life in Minnesota

554-19b4Wy.AuSt.55A lovely story and a happy ending for a young Cambodian orphan with hepatitis B. 

By MATTHEW STOLLE, Post-Bulletin Posted July 19

When Chung Eang Lip was 7, his father took him to the market in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and abandoned him.

For three days, Lip wandered the city’s streets, hungry and calling for his mother. Lip’s last memory from the ordeal was waking up and seeing his mom hovering over him.

“I was really sick. I didn’t have anything to eat for those three days. I only remember that when I opened my eyes, I saw my mom and that’s all,” said Lip, whose mom took him back to their rural home.

By 13, both of Lip’s parents were dead, and he was largely on his own, living with an older brother. What most people regard as normal family life — or what passed for it in Lip’s life — was largely a thing of the past.

Or so he thought.

 Read more of this touching story here.

It’s Time to Take On the Deadliest Cancers

congressional briefing

Congressional briefing organized by the Deadliest Cancers Coalition with the Congressional Caucus on Deadliest Cancers, Thursday, June 19, 2014, Washington, DC

Recent projections for the top cancer killers in 2030 confirmed some encouraging trends but also sounded a warning bell. Continue reading

Nucleoside Analogues’ Benefits in HBV Vary

UnknownThis informative article from Internal Medicine News, July 1, 2014, analyzes two studies from the July issue of Gastroenterology, and looks at the impact of antivirals on the incidence of liver cancer, the need for liver transplantation and the risk of death in chronic HBV patients.  The potency of the antiviral made a significant difference and supported current practice guidelines recommending the use of entecavir and tenofovir as first line drugs for the treatment of chronic HBV. Be sure to also read the accompanying editorial by Dr. George Papatheodoridis. 

Internal Medicine News Digital Network, July 1, 2014, article written by DENISE NAPOLI.

Nucleoside analogues are effective at preventing hepatocellular carcinoma in hepatitis B, but all are not equal when it comes to overall mortality and liver transplant, according to two new studies in the July issue of Gastroenterology.

In the first study, Dr. Chun-Ying Wu of the National Yang-Ming University, in Taipei, Taiwan, and his colleagues examined the long-term protective effects of nucleoside analogue therapy among chronic hepatitis B patients (

They conducted a retrospective nationwide cohort study using data from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database, collecting records from 1997 through 2010 on patients with chronic hepatitis B.

Click here to read Internal Medicine News article and editorial in its entirety. 

HBV Journal Review – July 2014

ChrisKHBF is pleased to connect our blog readers to Christine Kukka’s monthly HBV Journal Review that she writes for the HBV Advocate. The journal presents the
 latest in hepatitis B research, treatment, and prevention from recent academic and medical journals. This month, the following topics are explored:

  • Ground-Breaking Study Finds Antiviral Treatment Does Reduce Cancer Risk
  • Sequential Treatment of Antivirals Followed by Interferon Spurs HBeAg Seroconversio
  • Is the Current Recommended Dose of Entecavir Too Low for Some Patients?
  • Measuring Liver Stiffness, Spleen Size and Platelets Can Predict Cancer Risk
  • Tenofovir Effective in Patients with Lamivudine Resistance
  • Entecavir and Adefovir Combo Works Best in Lamivudine-Resistant Patients
  • When Is It Safe to Stop Antivirals? Experts Still Not Sure
  • Liver Stiffness Test Identifies Which Patients Develop Liver Damage After Treatment Stops
  • Study Suggest Hepatitis B Immunization Could Cut Diabetes Risk by Half
  • Herbal Medication Treatment Linked to Liver Failure in Patient with Hepatitis B

HBV Journal Review

July 1, 2014
Volume 11, Issue 7
by Christine M. Kukka

Ground-Breaking Study Finds Antiviral Treatment Does Reduce Cancer Risk

For the first time, an authoritative study has found that antiviral treatment appears to reduce the risk of hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related liver cancer. Even though treated patients had more liver damage, their cancer rates were similar to untreated, healthier patients.

Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined the health records of 2,671 hepatitis B patients treated at four health centers across the U.S. between 1992 and 2011. Half of the patients were Asian-American and about 31% (820) had been treated with antivirals. The treated patients tended to have more liver damage, were older, male and less likely to be Asian-American than untreated patients in the study.

Researchers, reporting in the June issue of the journal ofClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, found that 67 (3%) of the 2,671 patients developed liver cancer over the study period. Twenty of the 820 patients treated with antivirals developed cancer, compared to 47 of the 1,851 untreated patients.

Treated patients with viral loads less than 20,000 IU/mL had a significantly lower risk of cancer than untreated patients with similarly low viral loads.

Antivirals appeared to confer some protection against liver cancer even in patients with fibrosis (liver inflammation) and cirrhosis (liver scarring), suggesting that viral loads may be the primary culprit behind liver cancer. By suppressing viral load, liver cancer was avoided in many of these high-risk patients with serious liver damage.

Researchers wrote, “…We found that antiviral treatment had a beneficial effect across a spectrum of viral load levels (and disease severity.)”


Sequential Treatment of Antivirals Followed by Interferon Spurs HBeAg Seroconversion 
Chinese researchers found that hepatitis B “e” antigen (HBeAg)-positive patients who were treated first with the antiviral entecavir (Baraclude) and then with pegylated interferon achieve a higher rate of HBeAg seroconversion (loss of HBeAg and development of “e” antibodies) than patients treated with only entecavir.

Continue reading the HBV Journal Review…


Screening At-Risk Patients for Liver Cancer, Uncertain

livercancer copy

A recent analysis of studies that looked at the benefits of screening concluded that the evidence remains insufficient to make a strong case for or against screening. The authors of an accompanying editorial did note, however, that screening has a much greater potential to be beneficial in the highest-risk patients, and it is appropriate to allow clinicians caring for these patients to continue to offer screening. Clearly, more data are needed.

Although current liver cancer screening methods are not perfect, the Hepatitis B Foundation encourages liver cancer screening. Early detection can give patients more treatment options, and potentially a greater chance of successful treatment. Screening does save lives. 


Roxanne Nelson, Medscape, June 19, 2014, reports on study published online June 16 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. 

When looking at the effects of screening on mortality, 2 clinical trials and 18 observational studies provided very-low-strength evidence from which to draw conclusions about the mortality effects of HCC screening, as compared with no screening.

Both of the trials were conducted in China in areas with high HCC prevalence, and most participants had hepatitis B with or without cirrhosis. One of the trials (n = 9757) offered serum α-fetoprotein testing and ultrasonography every 6 months, and participants in the control group (n = 9443) were not made aware of the study or actively followed. HCC mortality was less frequent in the screened group (83.2 vs 131.5 per 100,000 person-years; rate ratio, 0.63).

Read article in its entirety here.