Background & Aims: Treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection with entecavir suppresses virus replication and reduces disease progression, but could require life-long therapy. To investigate clinical outcome events and safety associated with long-term treatment with entecavir, we followed up patients treated with entecavir or another standard-of-care HBV nucleos(t)ide analogue for up to 10 years. We assessed long-term outcomes and relationships with virologic response. Methods: Patients with chronic HBV infection at 299 centers in Asia, Europe, and North and South America were assigned randomly to groups that received entecavir (n = 6216) or an investigator-selected nonentecavir HBV nucleos(t)ide analogue (n = 6162). Study participants were followed up for up to 10 years in hospital-based or community clinics. Key end points were time to adjudicated clinical outcome events and serious adverse events. In a substudy, we examined relationships between these events and virologic response. Results: There were no significant differences between groups in time to event assessments for primary end points including malignant neoplasms, liver-related HBV disease progression, and death. There were no differences between groups in the secondary end points of nonhepatocellular carcinoma malignant neoplasms and hepatocellular carcinoma. In a substudy of 5305 patients in China, virologic response, regardless of treatment group, was associated with a reduced risk of liver-related HBV disease progression (hazard ratio, 0.09; 95% CI, 0.038–0.221) and hepatocellular carcinoma (hazard ratio, 0.03; 95% CI, 0.009–0.113). Twelve patients given entecavir (0.2%) and 50 patients given nonentecavir drugs (0.8%) reported treatment-related serious adverse events. Conclusions: In a randomized controlled trial of patients with chronic HBV infection, we associated entecavir therapy with a low rate of adverse events over 10 years of follow-up evaluation. Patients receiving entecavir vs another nucleos(t)ide analogue had comparable rates of liver- and non–liver-related clinical outcome events. Participants in a China cohort who maintained a virologic response, regardless of treatment group, had a reduced risk of HBV-related outcome events including hepatocellular carcinoma. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier no: NCT00388674.
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