Transarterial radioembolization with yttrium-90 of unresectable primary hepatic malignancy in children

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Pediatric blood & cancer


BACKGROUND: Primary malignant liver tumors are rare, accounting for 1% to 2% of all childhood cancers. When chemotherapy fails, transarterial radioembolization with yttrium-90 (TARE-Y90) may offer an alternative therapy as a bridge to surgical resection or liver transplant or for palliation.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective review of 10 pediatric patients with histologically confirmed primary liver malignancy who received treatment with TARE-Y90.

RESULTS: The median age at treatment was 5.5 years (range, 2-18 years). Median patient survival from initial diagnosis was 12.5 months (range, 10-28 months), and median patient survival after TARE-Y90 was 4 months (range, 2-20 months). Retreatment was well tolerated in three of 10 patients, with these patients demonstrating the longest survival times (range, 17-20 months). One patient was transplanted 6 weeks after TARE-Y90. By RECIST 1.1 criteria of all target lesions, eight of nine patients had stable disease, and one of nine had progressive disease. By mRECIST criteria (requiring postcontrast arterial phase imaging), two of seven patients had a partial response, four of seven had stable disease, and one of seven had progressive disease.

CONCLUSION: TARE-Y90 of unresectable primary liver malignancy is both technically feasible and demonstrates an anticancer effect, and retreatment is well tolerated. TARE-Y90 could be considered as adjunctive therapy in pediatric patients with unresectable hepatic malignancies and could be used as a bridge to surgical resection or liver transplant. More research is required to determine the efficacy of this treatment in children and to define the clinical scenarios where benefit is likely to be optimized.

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