Patients with DLBCL and a history of hepatitis B are at increased risk from the reactivation of a viral infection following treatment with R-CHOP. Many guidelines recommend that patients at risk of hepatitis B reactivation receive anti-viral prophylaxis while receiving R-CHOP, but do not specify which drug should be used. At the recent annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago, Dr. He Huang from Sun Yatsen University Cancer Center presented the results of a trial comparing two of the most commonly used drugs: entecavir and lamivudine.
Study subjects included patients receiving R-CHOP for previously untreated DLBCL and evidence of active infection (HBsAg-positive). Of the 121 HBsAg-positive patients, 61 were randomly assigned to entecavir and 60 to lamivudine. The primary endpoint was the incidence of HBV-related hepatitis; the secondary endpoint was chemotherapy disruption due to hepatitis.
The entecavir group had significantly lower rates of hepatitis, hepatitis B reactivation, and disruption of chemotherapy. The study concluded that for HBsAg-positive DLBCL patients receiving R-CHOP, entecavir was more effective in preventing hepatitis B reactivation, and should be considered the standard for primary preventive therapy in advanced stages of the disease.