Researchers have discovered a new type of cancer in children. This is a liver cancer subset particularly resistant to chemotherapy. According to the charity Children with Cancer UK, around 20 cases are diagnosed every year.
As The Sun reports (Source 1), affected children show few symptoms other than a lump on their stomachs. The survival rate depends on the type of liver tumors. At five years, it is 70% for hepatoblastoma and 30% for hepatocellular carcinoma. In this study, researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas Children’s Cancer Center took cancerous tumors and analyzed their genetics. Thus, they discovered that some did not fall into the categories of hepatoblastoma tumors or hepatocellular carcinoma. These results were published in the Journal of Hepatology.
“Until recently, almost all pediatric liver cancers were classified as either hepatoblastoma or hepatocellular carcinoma. However, pediatric pathologists have observed that some liver tumors have histological features that do not readily fit models of hepatoblastoma or hepatocellular carcinoma. hepatocellular These cancers are less likely to respond to chemotherapy and patient outcomes are poor,” said Dr. Pavel Sumazin, first author of the study.
These tumors were designated as “hepatoblastomas with features of hepatocellular carcinoma (HBC)”. Children with these tumors had poorer outcomes when not treated with more aggressive surgical approaches and transplantation. “Our results highlight the importance of molecular testing to accurately classify these tumors in order to optimize treatment recommendations at the time of initial diagnosis,” summarizes Dr. Dolores Lopez-Terrada, corresponding author of the article.