Department of Haematology-Oncology, National University Cancer Institute, National University Health System, Singapore, Singapore.
Background:Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation may occur with chemotherapy and has significant morbidity and mortality. The United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention recommends pre-chemotherapy hepatitis B screening for all cancer patients, while the American Society of Clinical Oncology finds that there is insufficient evidence currently to support such a recommendation. Apart from anthracyclines, HBV reactivation rates from other commonly used chemotherapy regimens in solid tumours are not well described.Methods:We compared HBV reactivation risk in patients receiving several commonly used chemotherapy regimens for solid tumours associated with different immunosuppression risk at a tertiary cancer centre in an HBV endemic region.Results:A total of 1149 patients were identified, including 434, 196, 245 and 274, respectively, who received doxorubicin-based, oxaliplatin- or irinotecan-based, carboplatin/gemcitabine, and capecitabine chemotherapy. HBV screening rate was 39% overall. Thirty out of 448 (7%) screened patients were HBsAg positive and 28 out of 30 received prophylactic antiviral therapy with no reactivation. Three out of 1149 patients overall (0.3%) developed HBV reactivation, all from the unscreened doxorubicin group (3 out of 214, 1.4%). No unscreened patients (0 out of 487) in the other three treatment groups developed reactivation (P<0.001).Conclusion:Not all chemotherapy regimens result in HBV reactivation. Routine hepatitis B screening for low- or moderate-risk regimens may not be warranted.