Incidence of hepatitis in patients with evidence of past or current hepatitis B or C during chemotherapy for early breast cancer

Alessia Levaggi, Andrea De Maria, Beatrice Dozin, Giuseppina Iacono, Claudia Bighin, Sara Giraudi, Matteo Lambertini, Alessia D'Alonzo, Francesca Poggio, Paolo Pronzato, Lucia Del Mastro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim/Background: Few data are available about the prevalence of hepatitis B and C infections in early breast cancer patients and its impact on systemic treatments. The objectives of this study were to determine the incidence of positive serology for hepatitis B and C in women with early breast cancer and to assess the clinical course and its impact on liver function during adjuvant treatments. Patients and Methods: we retrospectively reviewed hepatitis B and C serology [HBs antigen (HBsAg), HBc antibodies (HBcAb), HBs antibodies (HBsAb) and HC (HCV) antibodies] in 746 consecutive patients with early breast cancer treated at our Institution between 2009 and 2011. Results: Among 375 evaluable patients, we identified 312 controls (83.2%) and 63 patients (16.8%) with positive serology (cases): 15 patients (4%) with HCV, 8 (2.1%) with resolved HBV without anti-HBs (HBsAg-negative, HBsAgAb-negative, HBcAgAb-positive), 36 (9.6%) with resolved HBV with anti-HBs (HBsAg-negative, HBsAgAb-positive, HBcAgAb-positive) and 4 (1%) with chronic HBV (HBsAg-positive, HBsAgAb-negative, HBcAgAb-positive). During systemic treatments, hepatitis (defined as at least a three-fold increase in serum alanine aminotransferase level) occurred in nine (20.4%) out of 44 evaluable cases and in 14 (5.9%) out of 234 evaluable controls. Conclusion: Approximately 20% of patients with early breast cancer with positive serology for viral hepatitis may develop hepatitis during systemic treatment. Pre-treatment serum detection of viral hepatitis B and C antigens and antibodies may be useful in the adjuvant therapy decision-making process and for adequate monitoring of liver function during antineoplastic therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3715-3720
Number of pages6
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2014


  • Breast cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Hepatitis C virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Incidence of hepatitis in patients with evidence of past or current hepatitis B or C during chemotherapy for early breast cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this