HBsAg clearance after addition of 48 weeks of PEGIFN in HBeAg negative CHB patients on Nucleos(t)ide ther- apy with undetectable HBV DNA for at least one year: a multicenter randomized controlled phase III trial ANRS-HB06 PEGAN study: preliminary findings
Marc Bourlière1, Pascaline Rabiega2, Nathalie Ganne-Carrié4, Lawrence Serfaty5, Patrick Marcellin6, Noelle Pouget2, Dominique Guyader7, Christophe Hezode8, Magali Picon9, Xavier Causse10, Vincent Leroy11, Jean-Pierre Bronowicki12, Ghassan Riachi13, Isabelle Rosa14, Pierre Attali15, Jean-Michel Molina16, Yannick Bacq17, Albert Tran18, Jean Didier Grange19, Fabien Zoulim20, Hélène Fontaine21, Inga Bertucci22, Magali Bouvier-Alias23, Fab- rice Carrat2, Yves Benhamou3; 1hepato-gastroenterology, hopital saint joseph, Marseille, France; 2INSERM UMR-S1136, Medical school Saint Antoine, Paris, France; 3Hepato-Gastroenterology, Pitié Salpêtrière University Hospital, Paris, France; 4Hepato-Gas- troenterology, Jean Verdier Hospital, Bondy, France; 5Hepato-Gas- troenterology, Saint Antoine hospital, Paris, France; 6Hepatology, Beaujon Hospital, Clichy, France; 7Hepatology, Pontchaillou University Hospital, Rennes, France; 8Hepato-Gastroenterology, Henri Mondor University Hospital, Creteil, France; 9Hepato-Gas- troenterology, Aix General Hospital, Aix en provence, France; 10Hepato-Gastroenterology, La source Hospital, Orleans, France; 11Hepato-Gastroenterology, University Hospital, Grenoble, France; 12Hepato-Gastroenterology, Brabois University Hospital, Nancy, France; 13Hepato-Gastroenterology, Charles Nicolle Hos- pital, Rouen, France; 14Hepato-Gastroenterology, Intercommunal Hospital, Creteil, France; 15Hepato-Gastroenterology, Bicêtre Hos- pital, Le Kremlin Bicêtre, France; 16Infectious diseases, Saint Louis Hospital, Paris, France; 17Hepato-Gastroenterology, Trousseau Hospital, Tours, France; 18Hepato-Gastroenterology, Archet Hos- pital, Nice, France; 19Hepato-Gastroenterology, Tenon Hospital, Paris, France; 20Hepato-Gastroenterology, Hotel Dieu Hospital, Lyon, France; 21Hepato-Gastroenterology, Cochin Hospital, Paris, France; 22Viral hepatitis, INSERM-ANRS, Paris, France; 23Bacteri- ology and Immunology, INSERM U 635, Creteil, France
Background and Aims: Uncontrolled studies suggest that addi- tion of PEGIFN in CHB patients receiving NUCs with unde- tectable serum HBV DNA may increase HBsAg clearance. We conducted a multicenter randomized controlled study to evaluate this strategy. Patients and methods: The key inclusion criteria were: HBeAg negative CHB and documented nega- tive HBV DNA while on stable NUC regimens for at least 1 year. Patients with PEGIFN contra-indications were excluded. From Jan 2011 to July 2012, 183 patients (86% male, mean age 47.6 years range 28-74, HBV DNA undetectable for 192 weeks range 17-685) were randomized to receive a 48 weeks course of 180 μg/w PEGIFN-alfa-2a (Pegasys) in addition to the backbone NUC regimens (Group 1: n=90) or no additional therapy (Group 2: n=93). Patients were stratified according to the HBsAg titers (< or ≥ 2.25 log IU/ml). NUC regimens remained unchanged during the study period up to week 144. Treatments discontinuation was allowed if HBsAg clearance was sustained for 24 weeks. Patients were seen monthly during the first 48 weeks, then every 3 months. The primary end point was the proportion of patients with serum HBsAg clearance at week 96. Secondary endpoints included HBsAg clearance at Week 48. Preliminary Results: 85 patients initiated PEGIFN in group 1, 17 patients discontinued prematurely PEGIFN due to adverse events, and 4 patients had a dose reduction to 135μg/w. There was no discontinuation of the NUC regimens in all the patients of both groups. At week 48, 6 patients had an HBsAg clearance in group 1 and 1 in group 2 (p= 0.061). Demographic and baseline characteristics, CHB history and history of anti-HBV therapies were studied. HBsAg clearance at the end of PEGIFN treatment (W48) was associated with (1) baseline HBsAg titer (p= 0.018) and (2) history of HBeAg seroconversion prior to randomization (4/17 (23.5%) vs 2/61(3.3%))(p=0.0185). Conclusion: Addition of a 48 weeks course of PEGIFN alfa-2a to oral anti-HBV therapy in HBeAg negative CHB patients with undetectable serum HBV DNA for at least 1 year: (1) Results in a low rate of HBsAg clearance (6/90 (6.6%)) and (2) Suggests that low baseline HBs Ag titers and a history of HBeAg seroconversion either spontaneously or under HBV therapy may increase HBsAg clearance rate.