Impact of Hepatitis B Core Antibody Seropositivity on the Outcome of Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Multiple Myeloma

Ankur Varma, Laura Biritxinaga, Rima M. Saliba, Maximilian Stich, Sarah Francesca Jauch, Aimaz Afrough, Medhavi Honhar, Uday R. Popat, Mehnaz A. Shafi, Nina Shah, Qaiser Bashir, Yvonne Dinh, Chitra Hosing, Richard E. Champlin, Muzaffar H. Qazilbash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Hepatitis B core antibody (HBcAb) seropositivity has been associated with a higher rate of hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation after chemotherapy, even in patients who are hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) negative. However, little is known about the risk of HBV reactivation after autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (auto-HCT). We evaluated the incidence of HBV reactivation, liver toxicity, and survival in patients with multiple myeloma (MM) who received auto-HCT at our institution. We retrospectively identified 107 MM patients with resolved HBV infection (HBcAb positive, HBsAg negative) and 125 patients with negative HBV serology (control subjects) who were matched for age, timing of auto-HCT from diagnosis, cytogenetics, disease status at transplant, induction therapy, and preparative regimen. All patients underwent auto-HCT between 1991 and 2013. Primary endpoints were HBV reactivation, defined as HBsAg positivity or ≥10-fold increase in HBV DNA, and hepatotoxicity, as defined in the U.S. National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events v3.0. In the resolved HBV infection group, 52 patients (49%) were HBsAb positive and 24 (22%) had detectable HBV DNA before auto-HCT. Only 1 patient with resolved HBV infection received pre-emptive antiviral therapy with lamivudine, whereas 4 patients received lamivudine (n = 3) or tenofovir (n = 1) at reactivation after auto-HCT for a median duration of 12 months. HBV reactivation occurred in 7 of 107 patients (6.5%) in the resolved HBV group. Median time to HBV reactivation from auto-HCT was 16 months. The cumulative incidence of grade 2 or greater hepatotoxicity was 30% in the resolved HBV infection group and 22% in the control group (hazard ratio, 1.3; 95% confidence interval, .7 to 2.3; P = .4). Nonrelapse mortality for the 2 groups was not statistically different at 2 years (P = .06), although it trended higher in the control group than in the resolved HBV infection group (8% versus 1%). The median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) durations in the resolved HBV infection and control groups were 21 versus 18 months (P = .5) and 53 versus 67 months (P = .2), respectively. Our data suggest that resolved HBV infection in patients undergoing auto-HCT for MM is associated with a low risk of HBV reactivation and hepatotoxicity; these complications were reversible and did not adversely affect the PFS or OS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-587
Number of pages7
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Multiple myeloma
  • Reactivation
  • Resolved HBV infection
  • Reverse seroconversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Transplantation


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