Genomic analysis of hepatoblastoma identifies distinct molecular and prognostic subgroups

Pavel Sumazin, Yidong Chen, Lisa R. Treviño, Stephen F. Sarabia, Oliver A. Hampton, Kayuri Patel, Toni Ann Mistretta, Barry Zorman, Patrick Thompson, Andras Heczey, Sarah Comerford, David A. Wheeler, Murali Chintagumpala, Rebecka Meyers, Dinesh Rakheja, Milton J. Finegold, Gail Tomlinson, D. Williams Parsons, Dolores López-Terrada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Scopus citations


Despite being the most common liver cancer in children, hepatoblastoma (HB) is a rare neoplasm. Consequently, few pretreatment tumors have been molecularly profiled, and there are no validated prognostic or therapeutic biomarkers for HB patients. We report on the first large-scale effort to profile pretreatment HBs at diagnosis. Our analysis of 88 clinically annotated HBs revealed three risk-stratifying molecular subtypes that are characterized by differential activation of hepatic progenitor cell markers and metabolic pathways: high-risk tumors were characterized by up-regulated nuclear factor, erythroid 2–like 2 activity; high lin-28 homolog B, high mobility group AT-hook 2, spalt-like transcription factor 4, and alpha-fetoprotein expression; and high coordinated expression of oncofetal proteins and stem-cell markers, while low-risk tumors had low lin-28 homolog B and lethal-7 expression and high hepatic nuclear factor 1 alpha activity. Conclusion: Analysis of immunohistochemical assays using antibodies targeting these genes in a prospective study of 35 HBs suggested that these candidate biomarkers have the potential to improve risk stratification and guide treatment decisions for HB patients at diagnosis; our results pave the way for clinical collaborative studies to validate candidate biomarkers and test their potential to improve outcome for HB patients. (Hepatology 2017;65:104-121).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-121
Number of pages18
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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