Patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection have a risk of reactivation after chemotherapy. All patients undergoing chemotherapy should be screened for HBV infection. No large-scale studies have been conducted to examine HBV screening practice in Japan.
We analyzed health insurance claims equivalent data linked with a nationwide hospital-based cancer registry. Patients diagnosed with cancer in 2014, who were aged 20 years and older and those who underwent systemic anticancer treatment in 2014-15 were included. We assessed the HBV screening rates by the HBsAg or anti-HBc tests, HBV-DNA tests, and entecavir prescriptions. Multiple logistic regression models were used to identify factors related to the receipt of screening.
Of 177,597 patients (mean [SD] age, 65.6 [12.2] years), 82.6% and 12.9% patients had a solid tumor and hematologic malignancy, respectively. Among them, 88.1%, 6.3%, and 5.5% received cytotoxic chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and anti-CD20 antibodies, respectively. Overall, 70.6% of patients were screened. The positive predictor of HBV screening was receiving anti-CD20 antibodies [odds ratio (OR); 2.23, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.06-2.41, p < 0.001] and negative predictors were age ≥ 85 (OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.71-0.81), age 75-84 (OR 0.77, 95% CI 0.75-0.79) and targeted therapy (OR 0.69, 95% CI 0.67-0.72). Among the screened patients, 13.2% were tested for HBV-DNA, and 1.49% were prescribed entecavir.
The HBV screening rate in Japan is higher than in other countries. Further improvement of the HBV screening rate is needed to prevent reactivation and avoidable deaths of patients with HBV infection.