Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 16128268
Therapie 2005 May-Jun;60(3):257-65
Chronic liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma associated with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection are among the most serious human health problems in highly endemic regions. Despite the existence for many years of effective vaccines against HBV, more than 370 million people remain persistently infected with HBV today. Currently available therapies fail to provide long-term control of viral replication in most patients. Viral persistence has been associated with a defect in the development of HBV-specific cell-mediated immunity. Strategies to boost or to broaden the weak virus-specific T-cell response of patients with chronic hepatitis B have been proposed as a means of terminating this persistent infection. The immunogenicity of HBV envelope- or capsid-based vaccines, new formulations for recombinant vaccines as well as DNA-based vaccines are currently under investigation in clinical trials. Although improvements are still required, vaccination would be the therapeutic procedure with the lowest cost and the potentially greatest benefit.