A new high-risk subtype of cancer has been discovered

A new high-risk subtype of cancer has been discovered

Childhood liver tumors barely respond to treatments.

Until recently, almost all childhood liver cancers were classified as either hepatoblastoma or hepatocellular carcinoma. However, pediatric pathologists noticed that the histological characteristics of certain liver tumors do not easily match either of these two carcinoma models. Patients with these tumors have a poor life expectancy and the tumors are less responsive to chemotherapy. Dr. Pavel Sumazin, associate professor of pediatrics at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Center and Baylor College of Medicine, set out to better understand this high-risk cancer.
The scientists examined the molecular profile of the tumors, which included gene expression and genetic makeup. The researchers discovered that these molecular profiles were not classified as hepatoblastoma (HB) or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, these tumors had recurrent molecular features reported for both HBs and HCCs. These tumors were classified as hepatoblastoma with features of hepatocellular carcinoma (HBC). The scientists’ research was published in the Journal of Hepatology. The research team also looked at treatments and outcomes for HBC and found that they tend to be more resistant to standard chemotherapy and show little promise unless treated with more aggressive surgical methods, including transplantation. Based on their results, the group proposed a diagnostic algorithm to stratify HBCs and guide specific treatment. “Our results highlight the importance of molecular testing to accurately classify these tumors in order to optimize treatment recommendations at the time of initial diagnosis,” said Dr. Dolores López-Terrada, corresponding author of the study, professor of pathology, immunology and pediatrics at Baylor and Texas Head of Genomic Medicine at Children’s. “Our analysis suggested that children with HBC may benefit from treatment strategies different from the guidelines for patients with hepatoblastoma and hepatocellular carcinoma.”The study was funded by the Texas Cancer Prevention and Research Institute (RP180674), the European Union Horizon 2020 (826121), the Schindler Foundation and the National Cancer Institute (R21CA223140).Hardware, software, tests, interesting and colorful news from the world of IT by clicking here!

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