hepatoblastoma; pediatric cancer; chemotherapy; doxorubicin; lung metastasis; liver neoplasm; PRETEXT; rare tumor; staging


Emergency Medicine | Gastroenterology | Hepatology | Pediatrics



Hepatoblastoma is a rare pediatric cancer. Approximately 100 cases of hepatoblastoma are reported per year. Due to the limited incidence of this disorder an internationally agreed- upon criteria was developed to classify patients as standard or high-risk. Studies involving chemotherapeutic agents, surgery, and liver transplants have been demonstrated to improve the disease-free survival rate. The combination of chemotherapeutic agents and surgery demonstrated the ability of these regimens to downgrade the initial diagnostic staging of tumors and transform previously unresectable tumors into resectable tumors.

Case Presentation

The following case of hepatoblastoma presents a 4-year-old male who presented to the emergency department with an upper respiratory infection symptom and was found to have hepatomegaly. The patient was later classified as high-risk, unresectable hepatoblastoma.


Hepatoblastoma is a rare liver cancer in children with an annual incidence of 1.5 cases per million. With PRETEXT staging criterion, therapeutic options such as cisplatin/doxorubicin combination, radiotherapy, and lobectomy, have become the standard of care for this condition. Many trials have demonstrated these therapeutic options to successfully improve the survivability rate of patients affected by hepatoblastoma, downgrading tumors from advanced PRETEXT stages and enabling previously unresectable tumors to be considered resectable.