Theranostics 2015; 5(3):218-226. doi:10.7150/thno.10636

Research Paper

Quantitative Hepatitis B Core Antibody Level Is a New Predictor for Treatment Response In HBeAg-positive Chronic Hepatitis B Patients Receiving Peginterferon

Feng-Qin Hou1*, Liu-Wei Song2*, Quan Yuan2, Lin-Lin Fang2, Sheng-Xiang Ge2, Jun Zhang2, Ji-Fang Sheng3, Dong-Ying Xie4, Jia Shang5, Shu-Huan Wu6, Yong-Tao Sun7, Shao-Feng Wei8, Mao-Rong Wang9, Mo-Bin Wan10, Ji-Dong Jia11, Guang-Han Luo12, Hong Tang13, Shu-Chen Li14, Jun-Qi Niu15, Wei-dong Zhou16, Li Sun16✉, Ning-Shao Xia2✉, Gui-Qiang Wang1 ✉

1. Department of Infectious Diseases, Center for Liver Diseases, Peking University First Hospital, Beijing, China;
2. State Key Laboratory of Molecular Vaccinology and Molecular Diagnostics, National Institute of Diagnostics and Vaccine Development in Infectious Diseases, School of Public Health, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China;
3. Department of Infectious Diseases, the First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China;
4. Department of Infectious Diseases, the Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yet-Sen University, Guangzhou, China;
5. Department of Infectious Diseases, Henan Provincial People's Hospital, Zhengzhou, China;
6. Department of Infectious Diseases, the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, China;
7. Department of Infectious Diseases, Tang Du Hospital, the Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China;
8. Department of Infectious Diseases, the First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China;
9. Department of Infectious Diseases, PLA 81st Hospital, Nanjing, China;
10. Department of Infectious Diseases, the Second Military Medical University Changhai Hospital, Shanghai, China;
11. Liver Research Center, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China;
12. Department of Infectious Diseases, the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, China;
13. Center of Infectious Diseases, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China;
14. Department of Infectious Diseases, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China;
15. Center for Liver Diseases, the First Affiliated Hospital of Changchun University, Changchun, China;
16. Xiamen Amoytop Biotech Co. Ltd, Xiamen, China.
*These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract

A recent study revealed that quantitative hepatitis B core antibody (qAnti-HBc) level could serve as a novel marker for predicting treatment response. In the present study, we further investigated the predictive value of qAnti-HBc level in HBeAg-positive patients undergoing PEG-IFN therapy. A total of 140 HBeAg-positive patients who underwent PEG-IFN therapy for 48 weeks and follow-up for 24 weeks were enrolled in this study. Serum samples were taken every 12 weeks post-treatment. The predictive value of the baseline qAnti-HBc level for treatment response was evaluated. Patients were further divided into 2 groups according to the baseline qAnti-HBc level, and the response rate was compared. Additionally, the kinetics of the virological and biochemical parameters were analyzed. Patients who achieved response had a significantly higher baseline qAnti-HBc level (serological response [SR], 4.52±0.36 vs. 4.19±0.58, p=0.001; virological response [VR], 4.53±0.35 vs. 4.22±0.57, p=0.005; combined response [CR], 4.50±0.36 vs. 4.22±0.58, p=0.009)). Baseline qAnti-HBc was the only parameter that was independently correlated with SR (p=0.008), VR (p=0.010) and CR(p=0.019). Patients with baseline qAnti-HBc levels ≥30,000 IU/mL had significantly higher response rates, more HBV DNA suppression, and better hepatitis control in PEG-IFN treatment. In conclusion, qAnti-HBc level may be a novel biomarker for predicting treatment response in HBeAg-positive patients receiving PEG-IFN therapy.

Keywords: quantitative anti-HBc, chronic hepatitis B, PEG-IFN treatment, treatment response prediction, pretreatment biomarker.

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How to cite this article:
Hou FQ, Song LW, Yuan Q, Fang LL, Ge SX, Zhang J, Sheng JF, Xie DY, Shang J, Wu SH, Sun YT, Wei SF, Wang MR, Wan MB, Jia JD, Luo GH, Tang H, Li SC, Niu JQ, Zhou Wd, Sun L, Xia NS, Wang GQ. Quantitative Hepatitis B Core Antibody Level Is a New Predictor for Treatment Response In HBeAg-positive Chronic Hepatitis B Patients Receiving Peginterferon. Theranostics 2015; 5(3):218-226. doi:10.7150/thno.10636. Available from http://www.thno.org/v05p0218.htm