Background/Aims: Monotherapy with pegylated interferon alpha (Peg-IFNa) or adefovir dipivoxil (ADV) to HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients has limited effects. This study aims to evaluate therapeutic efficacy and safety of individualized combination therapy with Peg-IFNa and ADV.
Methodology: HBeAg-positive CHB patients (n=160) were enrolled in this multi-center, prospective, randomized, 'real-life' cohort study, of which received Peg IFNa-2a monotherapy or combination therapy with ADV base on the baseline features and treatment response.
Results: At week 24, percentages of ALT normalization, HBV DNA undetectable were both higher in individualized treatment group (ITG, 57.50%, 43.75%) than that in standard treatment group (STG, 40.00%, 27.50%; p=0.027, 0.032). The superiority of HBeAg clearance and seroconversion rates in ITG maintained from treatment termination (63.75%, 56.25%) to 48 weeks follow-up (57.50%, 53.75%). At week 96 the combined response rates were 46.25% in ITG compared with 30.00% in STG (p=0.034). Furthermore, there was no statistically significant difference in relapse rates and adverse events between the two groups.
Conclusions: Individualized combination therapy can achieve higher antiviral response rates. In particular, it can accelerate undetectable HBV DNA and elevate HBeAg clearance/seroconversion rates to a greater degree than Peg-IFNa-2a monotherapy.