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World J Surg. 2006 Jan;30(1):43-50.

Clinical characteristics and prognosis of pediatric hepatocellular carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 28 Yongon-dong, Chongno-gu, Seoul , 110-744, Korea.



Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a rare pediatric malignancy that is usually advanced at diagnosis, with a relatively poor prognosis. Extensive treatment, including complete tumor resection, is believed to be necessary for cure. This study was performed to analyze treatment results and to search for prognostic factors of pediatric HCC.


Between March 1982 and February 2004 a total of 16 children had been diagnosed as having HCC in our institution, and a retrospective analysis was performed.


The median age at diagnosis was 10.5 years, and the male/female ratio was 11:5. As a predisposing condition, hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections were present in 11 (68.8%) and liver cirrhosis in 8 (50.0%). Including 1 patient with a liver transplant, 4 patients (25.0%) underwent a primary operation with complete tumor resection, and 11 (68.8%) received neoadjuvant chemotherapy because of their inoperable state at diagnosis. After neoadjuvant chemotherapy, complete tumor resection was performed in four (36.4%). Thus complete resection was undertaken in a total of eight patients (50.0%). The estimated 5-year survival rate of all patients was 27.3%. The 5-year survival rate for patients who underwent complete tumor resection was 62.5%, and for those who underwent palliative resection or no operation it was 0%. The statistically significant prognostic factors were tumor stage, presence of metastasis, and complete tumor resection.


This study confirmed that complete tumor resection is essential for cure in pediatric patients with HCC, and neoadjuvant chemotherapy improves the tumors' resectability.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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