RESEARCH SUPPORT, U.S. GOV'T, P.H.S.
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Hepatocellular carcinoma in young people.

Cancer 1983 October 16
The clinical and pathologic features of 23 cases of hepatocellular carcinoma occurring in patients younger than age 35 years (mean age, 17.4 years) were analyzed. Ten of these (43%) were the fibrolamellar oncocytic variant (FLO), characterized by large polygonal neoplastic hepatocytes and lamellar bundles of collagen. The remainder (non-FLO) showed the usual wide range of gross and histologic patterns typical of hepatocellular carcinoma in older age groups. Overall, hepatocellular carcinoma was more common in females than in males. The FLO variant was characterized by a longer duration of symptoms prior to diagnosis, increased frequency of resectability of the tumor, and infrequency of mitoses. Of particular importance is the fact that 5 of 10 patients with the FLO variant are alive and clinically free of disease 1 1/2 to 8 years postoperatively, while none of the 13 patients with non-FLO hepatocellular carcinoma is alive and free of disease. There was no significant difference between the two groups in mean age at diagnosis, presence of single versus multiple hepatic tumors, vascular invasion, or tumor necrosis. Although cirrhosis was present in three non-FLO patients and none of the FLO patients, the difference was not statistically significant. The prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma in young patients does not appear to differ from that in older patients, with the exception of the fibrolamellar oncocytic variant, a variant which is common in younger patients.

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