The current role of liver transplantation in treating malignant tumors of the liver is uncertain, except for select histologic types. Pooled data on the results of liver transplantation in 12 children with hepatoblastoma is presented here. One half of the children are alive 24 to 70 (44 ± 19) months after transplantation with no evidence of recurrence. Three patients (25%) died of tumor recurrence and three (25%) died of other causes. Unifocal and intrahepatic tumors were associated with better prognosis compared to the multifocal tumors and tumors with extrahepatic spread (p = 0.04 and 0.13). Microscopically vascular invasion and the predominance of embryonal and/or anaplastic epithelium were associated with a poor prognosis compared to the tumors with no vascular invasion and with predominantly fetal epithelium (p = 0.08 and 0.1). It is concluded that continued efforts to treat unresectable hepatoblastomas by liver transplantation is justified and the role of adjuvant chemotherapy in improving the results needs to be better defined.
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