Since the discovery of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) by Blumberg et al. in 1965, its genome, sequence, epidemiology, and hepatocarcinogenesis have been elucidated. Globally, hepatitis B virus (HBV) is still responsible for the majority of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). HCC is the sixth-most common cancer in the world and the second-most common cancer death. The ultimate goal of treating HBV infection is the prevention of HCC. Fortunately, anti-HBV treatment with nucleos(t)ide analogues (NAs), which began with lamivudine in 1998, has resulted in remarkable improvements in the survival of patients with chronic hepatitis B and a reduced incidence of HCC. These results were documented with lamivudine, entecavir, and tenofovir. Nonetheless, as the duration of antiviral treatment increases, the risk for HCC still remains despite undetectable HBV DNA in serum, as reported by different investigators with observation up to 4–5 years. In our own experience, we are witnessing the development of HCC in patients who have received antiviral treatment. Some have enjoyed negative serum HBV DNA for over 12 years before developing HCC. Current treatment with NAs can effectively suppress the replication of the virus but cannot eradicate the covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) that is within the nucleus of hepatocytes. There still remains a great need for a cure for HBV. Fortunately, several compounds have been identified that have the potential to eradicate HBV, and there are ongoing clinical trials in progress in their early stages.
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