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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 151  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 604-608

A survey of clinical practices among oncologists regarding hepatitis B screening in patients with cancer


1 Department of Digestive Diseases & Clinical Nutrition, Tata Memorial Hospital, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr Prachi Patil
Department of Digestive Diseases & Clinical Nutrition, Tata Memorial Hospital, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Dr Ernest Borges Road, Parel, Mumbai 400 012, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_2327_18

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Background & objectives: Screening for hepatitis B prior to the initiation of chemotherapy in patients with cancer is recommended by all major hepatology and oncology societies. This study was aimed to determine the screening practices for hepatitis B among oncologists from India and their experience with hepatitis B reactivation. Methods: A questionnaire-based survey was conducted among oncologists attending the Evidence-Based Medicine Conference at Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, India. The questionnaire was developed in keeping with the recent guidelines for hepatitis B reactivation on chemotherapy, with questions regarding demographics, years in practice and hepatitis B screening practices and management. There was 78 per cent response rate to the questionnaire. Results: Most respondents were <35 yr of age (69%), with < five years of experience (39%), practicing in an academic institution (81%). Seventy four per cent respondents always screened their patients with cancer for hepatitis prior to chemotherapy, whereas 19 per cent in special settings and seven per cent never screened; 96 per cent respondents used hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) as a screening test, while 17 per cent also used antibody to hepatitis B core antigen. Sixty one per cent respondents used entecavir or tenofovir for prophylaxis; 70 per cent continued prophylaxis till 6-12 months after completion of chemotherapy, while 21 per cent continued only till the end of chemotherapy. Interpretation & conclusions: More than 25 per cent of the oncologists were not screening their patients with cancer for viral hepatitis prior to cancer-directed therapy, and only 17 per cent of the oncologists used the recommended tests for screening. Better training of oncologists regarding viral hepatitis screening and management is needed.


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