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Adult hepatoblastoma: learning from children

Published in Journal of Hepatology. 2012, vol. 56, no. 6, p. 1392-403
Abstract Hepatoblastoma is the most common malignant liver tumour in infants and young children. Its occurrence in the adult population is debated and has been questioned. The aim of this paper is to review the histological and clinical features of adult hepatoblastoma as described in the adult literature, and to compare the findings with those of paediatric hepatoblastoma. The developmental and molecular aspects of hepatoblastoma are reviewed and their potential contribution to diagnosis of adult hepatoblastoma discussed. Case reports of adult hepatoblastoma identified by a PubMed search of the English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish literature through March 2011 were reviewed. Forty-five cases of hepatoblastoma were collected. Age at presentation was variable. Survival was uniformly poor, except for the rare patients who presented with the relatively differentiated, foetal type. The common denominator between adult and paediatric cases is the occurrence of embryonal or immature aspect of the tumours. Whether the adult cases of hepatoblastoma represent blastemal tumours, stem cell tumours, or unusual differentiation patterns in otherwise more frequent adult liver tumours remains to be established. Adult tumours labelled as hepatoblastoma are characterised by malignant appearing mesenchymal components. Surgical management is the cornerstone of therapy in children and also appears to confer an improved prognosis in adults. Whether adult hepatoblastoma exists, remains controversial. Indeed, several features described in adult cases are markedly different from hepatoblastoma as it is understood in children, and other differential diagnoses should also be entertained. Nonetheless, hepatoblastoma should be considered in adults presenting with primary liver tumours in the absence of pre-existing liver disease. Adult and paediatric patients with immature hepatoblastoma appear to have worse outcomes, and adults presenting with presumed hepatoblastoma have an overall poorer prognosis than children with hepatoblastoma. In all patients, surgery should be the treatment of choice, neoadjuvant chemotherapy is advisable.
Keywords AdolescentAdultAgedChildDiagnosis, DifferentialHepatoblastoma/diagnosis/pathology/therapyHumansLiver Neoplasms/diagnosis/pathology/therapyMiddle Aged
PMID: 22326463
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Research groups Métastases du foie (657)
Recherche clinique en chirurgie pédiatrique (886)
Développement du tube digestif chez les vertébrés (900)
Transplantation et hépatologie (905)
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ROUGEMONT-PIDOUX, Anne-Laure et al. Adult hepatoblastoma: learning from children. In: Journal of Hepatology, 2012, vol. 56, n° 6, p. 1392-403. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:27578

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Deposited on : 2013-04-26

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