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Treatment Options for Childhood Liver Cancer

Hepatoblastoma

Treatment options for hepatoblastoma that can be removed by surgery at the time of diagnosis may include the following:

Treatment options for hepatoblastoma that cannot be removed by surgery or is not removed at the time of diagnosis may include the following:

  • Combination chemotherapy to shrink the tumor, followed by surgery to remove the tumor.
  • Combination chemotherapy followed by a liver transplant.
  • Chemoembolization of the hepatic artery to shrink the tumor, followed by surgery to remove the tumor.

For hepatoblastoma that has spread to other parts of the body at the time of diagnosis, combination chemotherapy is given to shrink the cancer in the liver and cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. After chemotherapy, imaging tests are done to check whether the cancer can be removed by surgery.

Treatment options may include the following:

  • If the cancer in the liver and other parts of the body can be removed, surgery will be done to remove the tumors followed by chemotherapy to kill any cancer cells that may remain.
  • If the cancer in the liver cannot be removed by surgery but there are no signs of cancer in other parts of the body, the treatment may be a liver transplant.
  • If the cancer in other parts of the body cannot be removed or a liver transplant is not possible, chemotherapy, chemoembolization of the hepatic artery, or radiation therapy may be given.

Treatment options in clinical trials for newly diagnosed hepatoblastoma include:

  • A clinical trial of new treatment regimens based on how likely it is the cancer will recur after initial treatment.

Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Treatment options for hepatocellular carcinoma that can be removed by surgery at the time of diagnosis may include the following:

Treatment options for hepatocellular carcinoma that cannot be removed by surgery at the time of diagnosis may include the following:

  • Chemotherapy to shrink the tumor, followed by surgery to completely remove the tumor.
  • Chemotherapy to shrink the tumor. If surgery to completely remove the tumor is not possible, further treatment may include the following:
    • Liver transplant.
    • Chemoembolization of the hepatic artery to shrink the tumor, followed by surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible or liver transplant.
    • Chemoembolization of the hepatic artery alone.
  • Radioembolization of the hepatic artery as palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life.

Treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma that has spread to other parts of the body at the time of diagnosis may include:

  • Combination chemotherapy to shrink the tumor, followed by surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible from the liver and other places where cancer has spread. Studies have not shown that this treatment works well but some patients may have some benefit.

Treatment options for hepatocellular carcinoma related to hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection include:

  • Surgery to remove the tumor.
  • Antiviral drugs that treat infection caused by the hepatitis B virus.

Undifferentiated Embryonal Sarcoma of the Liver

Treatment options for undifferentiated embryonal sarcoma of the liver (UESL) may include the following:

Infantile Choriocarcinoma of the Liver

Treatment options for choriocarcinoma of the liver in infants may include the following:

Recurrent Childhood Liver Cancer

Treatment of recurrent hepatoblastoma may include the following:

Treatment of progressive or recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma may include the following:

Treatment Options in Clinical Trials

Check the list of NCI-supported cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with childhood liver cancer. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. Talk with your child's doctor about clinical trials that may be right for your child. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI website.


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