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Br J Cancer. 1999 September; 81(1): 69–74.
PMCID: PMC2374347

Prevalence of hepatitis B virus marker positivity and evolution of hepatitis B virus profile, during chemotherapy, in patients with solid tumours


To prospectively evaluate the prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) positivity and study the evolution of HBV profile during cancer chemotherapy, serum HBV markers and liver biochemistry were determined in 1008 of 1402 (72%) cancer patients admitted in our Unit and in all 920 (91%) who received chemotherapy. We found that 54 (5.3%) were HBsAg carriers while 443 (44%) had at least one HBV marker positive. Of the latter, 405 (91%) were HBcAb+ve, 321 (72%) HBsAb+ve and 212 (48%) HBeAb+ve. No patient was HBeAg+ve. Among 920 chemotherapy receivers, 374 (41%) were HBcAb+ve, 280 (30%) HBsAb+ve and 178 (19%) HBeAb+ve. Fifty (5.4%) were HBsAg carriers (versus 0.6% in Greek blood donors). All 50 were systematically screened for HBsAg and HBsAb status throughout chemotherapy, during follow-up or until their death, and liver biochemistry was performed before each chemotherapy course. Stable antigenaemia was observed in 43/50 (86%) while 7/50 (14%) developed clinical and/or biochemical hepatitis. Six of these seven developed serum anti-HBs antibodies with an associated decrease of serum HBsAg titres. We conclude that reactivation of HBV infection during chemotherapy is not rare (14%), while disappearance of HBs antigenaemia is neither a frequent nor usually a permanent phenomenon. © 1999 Cancer Research Campaign

Keywords: HBsAg carriers, HBV profile, cancer chemotherapy

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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