Clin Mol Hepatol > Epub ahead of print
Toward a complete cure for chronic hepatitis B: Novel therapeutic targets for hepatitis B virus
Sun Woong Kim1, Jun Sik Yoon2, Minjong Lee3, Yuri Cho4
1Department of Internal Medicine, CHA Gangnam Medical Center, CHA University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
2Department of Internal Medicine, Busan Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea
3Department of Internal Medicine, Ewha Womans University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
4Center for Liver and Pancreatobiliary Cancer, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea
Correspondence :  Yuri Cho ,
Tel: +82-31-920-1605, Fax: +82-31-920-0149, Email: presh_yuri@hanmail.net, yuricho@ncc.re.kr
Received: March 26, 2021  Revised: July 5, 2021   Accepted: July 18, 2021
Abstract
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) affects approximately 250 million patients worldwide, resulting in the progression to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, which are serious public health problems. Although universal vaccination programs exist, they are only prophylactic and not curative. In the HBV life cycle, HBV forms covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA), which is the viral minichromosome, in the nuclei of human hepatocytes and makes it difficult to achieve a complete cure with the current nucleos(t)ide analogs and interferon therapies. Current antiviral therapies rarely eliminate cccDNA; therefore, lifelong antiviral treatment is necessary. Recent trials for antiviral treatment of chronic hepatitis B have been focused on establishing a functional cure, defined by either the loss of hepatitis B surface antigen, undetectable serum HBV DNA levels, and/or seroconversion to hepatitis B surface antibody. Novel therapeutic targets and molecules are in the pipeline for early clinical trials aiming to cure HBV infection. The ideal strategy for achieving a long-lasting functional or complete cure might be using combination therapies targeting different steps of the HBV life cycle and immunomodulators. This review summarizes the current knowledge about novel treatments and combination treatments for a complete HBV cure.
KeyWords: Hepatitis B virus; Antiviral therapy; Complete cure
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ORCID iDs

Yuri Cho
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4488-5352

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