Hepatoblastoma is a childhood malignant embryonal liver tumor consisting of immature epithelial cells with or without additional mesenchymal component.
Hepatoblastomas are the most frequent malignant liver tumors of childhood. Their annual incidence is 0.5–1 cases per million children under 15 years of age in the Western countries. The affected children are most frequently between 6 months and 3 years old. Hepatoblastoma has also been detected in utero by prenatal ultrasound examination. Since liver tumors lack early clinical symptoms, hepatoblastoma patients often present with locally extended tumors at diagnosis. However, distant metastases usually occur very late in the disease progression. The patients frequently have highly elevated α-fetoprotein levels. In these cases this oncofetal antigen can be useful as a sensitive diagnostic marker and also as a marker for the monitoring of treatment response.
KeywordsHepatocyte Growth Factor Familial Adenomatous Polyposis Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Embryonal Liver Liver Progenitor Cell
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