Hepatitis B Vaccination May Prevent Pancreatic Cancer

HepB virus increased pancreatic cancer likelihood by 24%

black older male

A new study reported that a hepatitis B (HepB) infection was a predictor of future pancreatic cancer by 24 percent.

These researchers assessed the association of HepB and pancreatic cancer and the independent mortality predictors, by multivariate analyses.

"To our knowledge, this is the largest study to conclude that hepatitis B virus infection may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer up to 24%," concluded these researchers.

Previous research published in 2012 and 2015 had indicated HepB was a 'causal agent’ of pancreatic cancer.

This study ‘Association Between Hepatitis B Infection and Pancreatic Cancer: A Population-Based Analysis in the United States’ was published in the August edition of the Journal of Neuroendocrine Tumors and Pancreatic Diseases and Sciences.

The research team suggested that young patients (60 years old) with hepatitis B be kept under close supervision by clinicians, especially those with higher risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer.

The study of 69,210 individuals identified the highest-risk individuals of developing pancreatic cancer were those over 65 years of age, black ethnicity and male.

This study’s findings are important since the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated 257 million persons (3.5%) were living with chronic HepB infection in 2015.

And, only 27 million adults were aware of their HepB infection.

In the USA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publish trend data at this website

Recommended:

A vaccine against hepatitis B has been available since 1982.

In the USA, 3 single-antigen vaccines and 2 combination vaccines are currently licensed:

Single-antigen hepatitis B vaccines:

  • ENGERIX-B
  • RECOMBIVAX HB
  • HEPLISAV-B

Combination vaccines:

  • PEDIARIX: Combined hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (DTaP), and inactivated poliovirus (IPV) vaccine. Cannot be administered before age 6 weeks or after age 7 years.
  • TWINRIX: Combined Hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine. Recommended for persons aged ≥18 years who are at increased risk for both Hepatitis A virus and HBV infections.

Most pharmacies in the USA offer hepatitis vaccines.

To schedule a vaccination appointment at a local pharmacy, please click here.

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides current HAV vaccine contract prices and general information, and vaccine discounts can be found here.

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects, says the CDC. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC. 

These researchers did not disclose any conflicts of interest: Rupak Desai; Upenkumar Patel; Shobhit Sharma; Sandeep Singh; Shreyans Doshi; Sana Shaheen; Sofia Shamim; Lakshmi Shirisha Korlapati; Shuba Balan; Christopher Bray; Renee Williams; Nihar Shah.