Implications of HBV DNA Integration on Care in 2024


In this segment of our 6-part discussion on updates and unmet needs within the management of hepatitis B virus focuses on how advancing understanding of HBV DNA integration is influencing care in 2024.

In recognition of May 19 as World Hepatitis Testing Day and the month of May as Hepatitis Awareness Month, we are launching our latest HCPLive Special Report, which spotlights a conversation between subject matter experts on updates and unmet needs in the management of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in 2024.

Although not discussed with the same frequency and urgency as hepatitis C (HCV) within public health circles, HBV represents a significant impact to public health globally and within the US, where an estimated 2.4 million are chronically infected, because unlike with HCV, there is no cure for these chronically infected patients. However, like HCV, the ongoing opioid crisis in the US has contributed to ballooning rates of acute hepatitis B infection in recent years and only 25% of infected individuals receive a diagnosis, according to the Hepatitis B Foundation.

The second in our 6-part series, this segment highlights a portion of the conversation where Nancy Reau, MD, and Andrew Talal, MD, discuss the implications of hepatitis B DNA integration into host cells. When asked by Chari Cohen, DrPH, MPH, Reau explains how the virus integration into DNA can lead to cellular damage and an increased risk of cancer. Reau notes studies indicate longer viral replication results in more integration, but suppressing the virus can reduce this integration and potentially lower cancer risk, which supports early initiation of antiviral therapy. Talal points out understanding integrated DNA is critical, as ongoing research seeks to determine how long treatment is needed to eliminate integrated DNA, whether integration can lead to reinfection without an immune cure, and if the integrated virus can replicate.

In this 6-part discussion, our group of experts tackles the following topics:


  • Chari Cohen, DrPH, MPH (Moderator): President of the Hepatitis B Foundation.
  • Nancy Reau, MD: Richard B. Capps Chair of Hepatology, Associate Director of Solid Organ Transplantation, and Section Chief of Hepatology at Rush University Medical Center.
  • Andrew Talal, MD: Professor of Medicine and Founder/Director of the Center for Research and Clinical Care in Liver Disease at the State University of New York at Buffalo - School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
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