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Am J Surg. 1983 Aug;146(2):236-40.

Improved survival in infants and children with primary malignant liver tumors.


Forty-six infants and children with primary malignant liver tumors were studied. Thirty-three had hepatoblastomas, 9 hepatocellular carcinomas, and 4 had sarcomas. Thirty-eight patients underwent liver biopsy or excision of the tumor. Nineteen patients were treated between 1952 and 1971 (mean survival 5.5 months) and the remaining 19 were treated between 1972 and 1981 (mean length of survival 30 months, 2 year survival rate 53 percent). In 21 patients with an unresectable tumor, biopsy alone was performed (mean survival 7 months). Ten patients underwent primary resection of their liver tumor (mean length of survival 23 months, 2 year survival rate 37.5 percent). Seven other patients with an unresectable tumor were treated with chemotherapy alone or in combination with radiotherapy for a mean period of 6 months before second-look celiotomy was carried out. Six of these patients (all treated after 1975) had significant reduction in the size of their tumors. Mean length of survival in this group was 4 years 2 months, and the 2 year survival rate was 100 percent; at present, 5 of these patients are living without the disease 2.5 to 7 years after diagnosis. Improved techniques in liver resection and chemotherapy before second-look celiotomy is undertaken for an unresectable lesion have improved prognosis in children with a malignant liver tumor.

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