Preoperative chemotherapy in 'Unresectable' hepatoblastoma

Agostino Pierro, Anne Marie Langevin, Robert M. Filler, Peter Liu, M. James Phillips, Mark L. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Chemotherapy was used to treat 11 children with hepatoblastoma that was judged to be unresectable because of tumor tissue in both lobes of the liver (eight patients) or because of size of the primary tumor (three patients). Three with bilobar involvement also had metastatic disease. Adriamycin was used in all patients. In nine, it was used in combination with cisplatin. A combination of other agents was used in four of these children. After two to six cycles (mean, 4 cycles), eight primary tumors exhibited marked response with >50% reduction in size. Metastases disappeared in two patients. Complete resection of residual tumor was attempted in eight cases, and was successful in seven. One patient died at the time of surgery during an extended right hepatectomy. Two children had anaplastic hepatoblastomas that did not respond to chemotherapy, and the children died. One responder with giant cell hepatitis died from a severe coagulopathy and bleeding during chemotherapy before surgery. With preoperative chemotherapy, seven of 11 children with "unresectable" hepatoblastoma are now alive without disease 4 to 42 months following successful resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-29
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Adriamycin
  • Hepatoblastoma
  • cisplatin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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