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Long-Term Entecavir Treatment Results in Sustained Antiviral Efficacy and Prolonged Life Span in the Woodchuck Model of Chronic Hepatitis Infection

Richard J. Colonno, Eugene V. Genovesi, Ivette Medina, Lucinda Lamb, Stephen K. Durham, Meei-Li Huang, Lawrence Corey, Margaret Littlejohn, Steven Locarnini, Bud C. Tennant, Burt Rose and Junius M. Clark
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 184, No. 10 (Nov. 15, 2001), pp. 1236-1245
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30137673
Page Count: 10
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Long-Term Entecavir Treatment Results in Sustained Antiviral Efficacy and Prolonged Life Span in the Woodchuck Model of Chronic Hepatitis Infection
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Abstract

Entecavir (ETV) is a guanosine nucleoside analogue with potent antiviral efficacy in woodchucks chronically infected with woodchuck hepatitis virus. To explore the consequences of prolonged virus suppression, woodchucks received ETV orally for 8 weeks and then weekly for 12 months. Of the 6 animals withdrawn from therapy and monitored for an additional 28 months, 3 had a sustained antiviral response and had no evidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Of the 6 animals that continued on a weekly ETV regimen for an additional 22 months, 4 exhibited serum viral DNA levels near the lower limit of detection for >2years and had no evidence of HCC. Viral antigens and covalently closed circular DNA levels in liver samples were significantly reduced in all animals. ETV was well tolerated, and there was no evidence of resistant variants. On the basis of historical data, long-term ETV treatment appeared to significantly prolong the life of treated animals and delay the emergence of HCC.

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