Outcomes for patients with congenital hepatoblastoma

Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2013 Nov;60(11):1817-25. doi: 10.1002/pbc.24655. Epub 2013 Jun 24.


Background: Congenital hepatoblastoma, diagnosed in the first month of life, has been reported to have a poor prognosis; however, a comprehensive evaluation of this entity is lacking.

Procedure: We retrospectively reviewed two patients from the senior authors' personal series and 25 cases identified in the databases of several multicenter group studies (INT-0098, P9645, 881, P9346, HB 89, HB94, and HB 99). We compared this series with cases of congenital hepatoblastoma previously published in the literature.

Results: The 3-year survival in our case series was 86% (18/21) with a follow-up of 44-230 months (median 85.5 months). Presentation and treatment were not substantially different from hepatoblastoma cohorts unselected for age. Survival was comparable to the reported disease free survival for a similar cohort of hepatoblastoma patients unselected for age between 1986 and 2002 (82.5%) [von Schweinitz et al., Eur J Cancer 1997; 33:1243-1249]. The 2-year survival of cases reported in the literature was 0% (0/9) and 42% (10/24) for patients reported before and after 1990, respectively.

Conclusions: Congenital hepatoblastoma does not appear to confer a worse prognosis. The improved survival of our current series of patients, collected from the past 20 years of German and American multicenter trials and personal series, suggests that the outcome of hepatoblastoma at this young age is much better than has been historically reported. More rigorous analysis should be conducted in future multicenter trials. It is possible that congenital hepatoblastoma should be treated like all other patients with hepatoblastoma provided that the child is stable enough to proceed with surgery and chemotherapy.

Keywords: congenital; hepatoblastoma; infant; neonatal.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures
  • Female
  • Hepatoblastoma / congenital*
  • Hepatoblastoma / mortality*
  • Hepatoblastoma / therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Liver Neoplasms / congenital*
  • Liver Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Liver Neoplasms / therapy
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome