Published online May 28, 2015. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v7.i9.1272
Peer-review started: August 30, 2014
First decision: November 27, 2014
Revised: December 19, 2014
Accepted: February 10, 2015
Article in press: February 12, 2015
Published online: May 28, 2015
Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) remains a significant unmet medical need, with 240 million chronically infected persons worldwide. It can be controlled effectively with either nucleoside/nucleotide-based or interferon-based therapies. However, most patients receiving these therapies will relapse after treatment withdrawal. During recent years, the advances in molecular biology and immunology have enabled a better understanding of the viral-host interaction and inspired new treatment approaches to achieve either elimination of the virus from the liver or durable immune control of the infection. This review aims to provide a brief overview on the potential new therapies that may overcome the challenge of persistent CHB infection in the near future.
Core tip: Current hepatitis B treatments can only control the disease, but they rarely lead to substantial rates of hepatitis B surface antigen loss and seroconversion. Several new therapeutic approaches are being developed so as to attain the elusive goal of successful functional cure of chronic hepatitis B infection.