Background/Purpose: The survival outcome for patients with hepatoblastoma normally depends on the resectability of the tumor. In Japan, the pre and/or postoperative chemotherapy protocol using a combination of cisplatin (CDDP) and tetra-hydropyranyl-Adriamycin (THP-ADR) has been the standard treatment since 1991. This study aims to assess exactly what influence the establishment of this chemotherapy protocol has had on both the tumor resectability and the outcome of patients with hepatoblastoma. Methods: From 1982 to 1997, 60 patients with hepatoblatoma were treated in the Kyushu area, Japan. Based on the pretreatment extent of disease (PRETEXT), the outcome and tumor resectability were compared between group A (1982 to 1990, n = 27, PRETEXT I:5, II:8, III:6, IV:8) and group B (1991 to 1997, n = 33, PRETEXT I:9, II:9, III:5, IV:10). Results: The 5-year survival rates (group A and group B) were 33% and 73% for all cases (P < .01), 100% and 89% for PRETEXT I, 38% and 89% for II (P < .05), 17% and 80% for III (P < .01), and 0% and 40% for IV (P < .01), respectively. The 5-year survival rates for patients with metastases were 0% for group A (n = 5) and 57% for group B (n = 7; P < .01). The rates of a complete resection of primary tumor were 48% for group A and 67% for group B. In particular, a significant difference was found regarding the complete resection rate between groups A and B in the patients with PRETEXT III (17% for group A and 80% for group B; P < .01). In the patients with an incomplete tumor resection (14 for group A, 11 for group B), the 5-year survival rates were 0% for group A and 45% for group B (P < .01). Conclusions: The optimal chemotherapeutic regimen of CDDP and THP-ADR was thus found to greatly contribute to the improved survival rate of hepatoblastoma patients. Preoperative chemotherapy resulted in an increased resectability of the tumor, whereas postoperative chemotherapy played an important role in the increased cure rate of cases with either an incomplete tumor resection or metastasis. However, refractory cases with PRETEXT IV or metastasis may still require the development of an even more effective treatment modality, including the use of blood stem cell transplantation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health