Hepatitis B Virus Screening for Patients With Cancer Before Therapy: American Society of Clinical Oncology Provisional Clinical Opinion Update.

Author(s): Hwang JP,  Somerfield MR,  Alston-Johnson DE,  Cryer DR,  Feld JJ,  Kramer BS,  Sabichi AL,  Wong SL,  Artz AS

Journal: J Clin Oncol

Date: 2015 Jul 1

Major Program(s) or Research Group(s): OD

PubMed ID: 25964247

PMC ID: PMC4477791

Abstract: PURPOSE: This updated provisional clinical opinion presents a revised opinion based on American Society of Clinical Oncology panel consensus in the context of an evolving database. CONTEXT: Despite the 2010 provisional clinical opinion recommendation, there is still evidence of suboptimal hepatitis B virus (HBV) screening among patients at high risk for HBV infection or HBV reactivation after chemotherapy. This updated provisional clinical opinion introduces a risk-adaptive strategy to identify and treat patients with HBV infection to reduce their risk of HBV reactivation. PROVISIONAL CLINICAL OPINION: Medical providers should screen by testing patients for HBV infection before starting anti-CD20 therapy or hematopoietic cell transplantation. Providers should also screen patients with risk factors for HBV infection. Screening should include both hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc), because reactivation can occur in patients who are HBsAg positive/anti-HBc positive or HBsAg negative/anti-HBc positive. Either total anti-HBc or anti-HBc immunoglobulin G (not immunoglobulin M) test should be used. Clinicians should start antiviral therapy for HBsAg-positive/anti-HBc-positive patients before or contemporaneously with cancer therapy and monitor HBsAg-negative/anti-HBc-positive patients for reactivation with HBV DNA and ALT levels, promptly starting antivirals if reactivation occurs. Clinicians can initiate antivirals for HBsAg-negative/anti-HBc-positive patients anticipating cancer therapies associated with a high risk of reactivation, or they can monitor HBV DNA and ALT levels and initiate on-demand antivirals. For patients who neither have HBV risk factors nor anticipate cancer therapy associated with a high risk of reactivation, current evidence does not support HBV screening before initiation of cancer therapy. Two panel members provided a minority viewpoint, involving a strategy of universal HBsAg and selective anti-HBc testing.