Carcinoma of the Liver in Children and Adolescents

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Consolato M. Sergi


Liver cancer, predominantly hepatocellular carcinoma, is the second most common cause of cancer-related death in adults. Although infrequent in children, hepatocellular carcinoma is a terrifying diagnosis. Rising levels of obesity and obesity-associated lipid metabolic reprogramming of hepatocytes are increasing the prevalence of lipid-rich hepatocellular carcinoma in young adults. Most pediatric liver cancers occur in otherwise healthy liver, with some exceptions such as progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis, hereditary tyrosinemia, alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, and genetic hemochromatosis. In the last decade, although aggressive multidisciplinary treatments including surgical resection and chemotherapy have remarkably improved patient outcomes in terms of decreased recurrence rate and increased overall survival rate, in children with unresectable liver cancer, the 5-year survival rate is still less than 20%. This chapter provides an overview of malignant epithelial tumors of the liver in children and adolescents. Hepatocellular carcinoma, lipid-rich hepatocellular carcinoma, fibrolamellar carcinoma, and cholangiocellular carcinoma are discussed.


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Chapter 1