Transarterial chemoembolization in children to treat unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma. Pediatric transplantation Weiss, K. E., Sze, D. Y., Rangaswami, A. A., Esquivel, C. O., Concepcion, W., Lebowitz, E. A., Kothary, N., Lungren, M. P. 2018: e13187


Children with unresectable HCC have a dismal prognosis and few approved treatment options. TACE is an effective treatment option for adults with HCC, but experience in children is very limited. Retrospective analysis was performed of 8 patients aged 4-17years (4 male, mean 12.5years) who underwent TACE for unresectable HCC. Response to TACE was evaluated by change in AFP, RECIST and tumor volume, PRETEXT, and transplantation eligibility by UCSF and Milan criteria. Post-procedure mean follow-up was 8.2years. Mean overall change in tumor volume for the 8 patients was 51%. Percent change in AFP ranged from a decrease of 100% to an increase of 89.3%, with a mean change of -49.6%. Two patients did not undergo resection or transplantation and died of progressive disease. Six patients underwent orthotopic liver transplantation with mean first TACE-to-transplant interval of 141days (range 11-514). Following transplantation, 5 patients were alive at the end of the follow-up period and one died of recurrent disease. Based on our initial experience, TACE for children with unresectable HCC appears to be a safe and effective method for managing hepatic tumor burden and for downstaging and bridging to liver transplantation.

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