Purpose: This study was performed to identify risk factors associated with recurrence of hepatoblastoma.
Methods: A retrospective study was conducted on 56 patients with hepatoblastoma from 2012 to 2015 in Beijing Children’s Hospital. PRETEXT stage, serum alpha fetoprotein (AFP) value, change trend of tumors after treatment and some other clinical characteristics were collected and analyzed. The comparison of independent variables that were not distributed normally was performed with the log-rank test.
Results: 28 patients with tumor recurrence and 28 non-recurrence patients were included in this study, the median age at presentation was 46.5 (26, 71.5) months. There was a significant difference in the 3-year recurrence free survival (RFS) probability between the patients over 54 months and those younger than 54 months (p=0.007). After neoadjuvant chemotherapy, the chance of recurrence in PR patients was shown to be significantly lower than that in SD patients (p=0.004). The 3-year RFS of patients with a decrease in AFP of more than 60% after neoadjuvant chemotherapy was significantly higher than that of patients with a decrease rate of less than 60% (p=0.005). Postoperative follow-up revealed that patients whose postoperative AFP fell to normal levels within six months of the start of treatment had a three-year RFS of 68.6%, which is higher than that of patients whose AFP fell below the normal range after six months (p=0.0005). Finally, multivariate analysis by Cox regression showed that AFP that decreased by less than 60% and tumour size that decreased by less than 50% after neoadjuvant chemotherapy were significant independent prognostic risk factors for 3-year RFS. Other clinical features were not significantly associated with tumor recurrence in this study.
Conclusion: Through this study, we concluded that the prognosis of childhood HB is related to the age at presentation and the response of chemotherapy. The results of the multivariate analysis showed that AFP that decreased by less than 60% and tumour size that decreased by less than 50% after neoadjuvant chemotherapy were significant independent prognostic risk factors. These findings can be helpful to evaluate therapeutic effects and predict prognosis.
Key words: hepatoblastoma; alpha fetoprotein; risk factor