Tenofovir alafenamide and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate reduce incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with chronic hepatitis B

Young Suk Lim*, Henry L.Y. Chan, Sang Hoon Ahn, Wai Kay Seto, Qin Ning, Kosh Agarwal, Harry L.A. Janssen, Calvin Q. Pan, Wan Long Chuang, Namiki Izumi, Scott Fung, Shalimar, Maurizia Brunetto, Aric Josun Hui, Ting Tsung Chang, Seng Gee Lim, Frida Abramov, John F. Flaherty, Hongyuan Wang, Leland J. YeeJia Horng Kao, Edward Gane, Jinlin Hou, Maria Buti

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Background & Aims: 

Antiviral therapy may attenuate the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB). We aimed to explore how tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) affect HCC risk in patients with CHB. 

Methods: 

The REACH-B, aMAP, and mPAGE-B models were utilized to assess HCC risk in patients with CHB from two global randomized-controlled trials evaluating the impact of TAF vs. TDF treatment. Standard incidence ratios (SIRs) were calculated using data from the REACH-B model as a ratio of observed HCC cases in the TAF- or TDF-treated patients vs. predicted HCC cases for untreated historical controls. Proportions of treated patients shifting aMAP and mPAGE-B risk categories between baseline and Week 240 were calculated. 

Results: 

Of the 1,632 patients (TAF, n = 1,093; TDF, n = 539) followed for up to 300 weeks, 22 HCC cases developed. Those receiving TAF had an SIR that was lower compared to the SIR of individuals receiving TDF: 0.32 (p <0.001) vs. 0.56 (p = 0.06). In the general study population, individuals without cirrhosis at baseline had an SIR that was lower compared to the SIR of individuals with cirrhosis at baseline: 0.37 (p <0.001) vs. 0.58 (p = 0.15). Of the patients at low risk of HCC at baseline, the majority (97%) remained low risk by mPAGE-B and aMAP scoring at Week 240. Among those at medium or high risk at baseline, substantial portions shifted to a lower risk category by Week 240 (mPAGE-B: 22% and 42%; aMAP: 39% and 63%, respectively). 

Conclusions: 

This evaluation provides evidence that treatment with TAF or TDF can reduce HCC risk in patients with CHB, particularly in patients without cirrhosis. 

Impact and implications: 

Despite the substantial impact of HCC on long-term outcomes of patients with CHB, the differential risk of HCC development among those receiving treatment with TAF vs. TDF has not been well elucidated. Using three validated risk prediction models, we found that TAF is at least as effective as TDF in reducing HCC risk in patients with CHB. While TDF is well-studied in the context of HCC risk reduction, our novel findings underscore the effectiveness of TAF as a treatment option for patients with CHB. 

Clinical trial numbers: 

NCT01940341; NCT02836249; NCT01940471; NCT02836236.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100847
JournalJHEP Reports
Volume5
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s)

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