PHILADELPHIASmithKline Beecham has announced that labeling for
Engerix-B (hepatitis B vaccine recombinant) now includes a statement
recognizing the hepatitis B vaccine as the first anti-cancer
vaccine because it can prevent primary liver cancer. A clear link has
been demonstrated between chronic hepatitis B infection and the
occurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma.
The labeling reflects the fact that the FDA has recognized the
CDCs description of hepatitis B vaccines as preventing
hepatitis B infections that can lead to primary liver cancer. In the
United States, about 15% of the reported cases of primary liver
cancer develop from chronic hepatitis B infections.