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I read with interest the article by Hui et al reporting hepatitis B reactivation after withdrawal of pre-emptive lamivudine in patients with haematological malignancy on completion of cytotoxic chemotherapy (Gut 2005;54:1597–603). Reactivation of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a well recognised complication of chemo/immunosuppressive therapy in hepatitis B virus surface antigen positive inactive carriers.1,2 It occurs in 14–50% of such individuals.1,2 Several investigators have examined the efficacy and tolerability of lamivudine therapy as a prophylactic agent preventing HBV reactivation in inactive HBV carriers with haemato/oncological malignancies who receive chemotherapy.3–5 The principal aims of these studies have been: (1) to determine the effect of lamivudine prophylaxis on the rate of HBV reactivation in such individuals and (2) …
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