Chronic hepatitis B (HBV) infection may be associated with an increased risk of colorectal liver metastasis (CRLM), according to results from an analysis presented at ESMO Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain.

The study was a retrospective investigation of 7187 patients with newly diagnosed colorectal cancer, including univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses.

Synchronous CRLM occurred at a rate of 8.72% in the study population, and synchronous CRLM appeared to show an association with positive (+) hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) status. The rate of synchronous CRLM was 13.40% among patients who were HBsAg+, compared with 8.54% among those with negative HBsAg status (P =.031). In this study, 5.12% of patients were HBsAg+.

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A similar pattern was observed between synchronous CRLM and hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) status. Synchronous CRLM occurred at a rate of 19.70% among patients with positive HBeAg status, compared with a rate of 10.17% among patients who were negative for this marker (P =.031). HBeAg positivity occurred in 1.25% of patients.

A univariate analysis showed HBeAg positivity to have a hazard ratio (HR) of 2.947 (P <.001) for synchronous CRLM, whereas HBsAg positivity was less predictive (HR, 1.435; P =.032). A multivariate analysis showed similar relationships for both HBeAg positivity (HR, 2.322; P =.044) and HBsAg positivity (HR, 1.686; P =.024).

In this study, the research team identified a predictive value for HBeAg positivity in assessing the risk of CRLM. They also recommended that further research should determine if there is any impact of antiviral therapy on reducing incidence of CRLM.


Zhao L, Song L, Cao J, Yang Y. Active chronic hepatitis B increases the risk of liver metastasis of colorectal cancer: a retrospective clinical study of 7187 consecutive cases of newly diagnosed colorectal cancer. Poster presented at: ESMO Congress 2019; September 27-October 1, 2019; Barcelona, Spain. Abstract 562P.

This article originally appeared on Oncology Nurse Advisor