Published online Jan 25, 2022. doi: 10.5501/wjv.v11.i1.57
Peer-review started: May 31, 2021
First decision: July 31, 2021
Revised: August 13, 2021
Accepted: January 5, 2022
Article in press: January 5, 2022
Published online: January 25, 2022
Core Tip: Current treatment of chronic hepatitis B infection with nucleos(t)ide analogs causes long-term suppression of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA levels, significantly improving hepatocellular injury and extrahepatic complications. However, the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma remains increased. New direct antiviral drugs that target the HBV life cycle, including entry blockers, assembly modulators, covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) disruptors, and hepatitis B surface antigen release inhibitors, would lead to hepatitis B surface antigen loss and a functional cure. Moreover, a combination of antiviral drugs with an immune-modulator could enhance the elimination of cccDNA and provide a definitive cure.