BioScience Trends. 2023;17(6):445-457. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2023.01311)

An update on diagnosis and treatment of hepatoblastoma

Cao YB, Wu SR, Tang HW


Hepatoblastoma (HB) remains the most common paediatric liver tumour and survival in children with hepatoblastoma has improved considerably since the advent of sequential surgical regimens of chemotherapy based on platinum-based chemotherapeutic agents in the 1980s. With the advent of modern diagnostic imaging and pathology techniques, new preoperative chemotherapy regimens and the maturation of surgical techniques, new diagnostic and treatment options for patients with hepatoblastoma have emerged and international collaborations are investigating the latest diagnostic approaches, chemotherapy drug combinations and surgical strategies. Diagnosis of hepatoblastoma relies on imaging studies (such as ultrasound, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging), alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels, and histological confirmation through biopsy. The standard treatment approach involves a multimodal strategy with neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgical resection. In cases where complete resection is not feasible or tumors exhibit invasive characteristics, liver transplantation is considered. The management of metastatic and recurrent hepatoblastoma poses significant challenges, and ongoing research focuses on developing targeted therapies and exploring the potential of immunotherapy. Further studies are necessary to gain a better understanding of the etiology of hepatoblastoma, develop prevention strategies, and personalize treatment approaches. We aim to review the current status of diagnosis and treatment of hepatoblastoma.

KEYWORDS: PRETEXT staging, neoadjuvant chemotherapy, hepatectomy, recurrent hepatoblastoma

Full Text: