Racial Disparities and Sociodemographic Differences in Incidence and Survival Among Pediatric Patients in the United States With Primary Liver Cancer: A Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Population Study

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Primary liver cancer, including Hepatoblastoma (HB) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), in pediatric populations is often fatal. The outcomes are poor despite universal health care access in pediatric patients.


We investigated the sociodemographic factors affecting outcomes in pediatric patients with primary liver cancer.

Materials and Methods:

This is a large population database study of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results cancer registry data from 1973 to 2011. HB and HCC were analyzed regarding age, sex, race, geographic area, and treatment-related information including survival.


In total, 998 patients, the median age at time of diagnosis was 1 year for HB [0-19; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.5-1.9] and 14 years for HCC (0-19; 95% CI, 12.1-13.3) (P<0.001). Overall Survival (OS) in HB was 374 months (25% failures 19) versus HCC 21 months (25% failures 5; P<0.0001). In HCC, the fibrolamellar subgroup OS was 41 months (32-.) versus 16 months (11-21) in all others [hazard ratio (HR) 2.0; P=0.005]. Diagnosis between 2000 and 2011 (HB: 25% failures not reached; HCC: 38) versus diagnosis 1973 to 1999 (HB: 374; HCC: 12) had different survival (P=0.01; HR 1.9). For HB, OS in patients with age of diagnosis under 2, 25% failures was not reached versus 374 months over the age of 2 (HR 1.7; P<0.0007). African American children with HB had OS of 67 (17-.) versus all others (25% failures 21) and 48% of African American children were diagnosed after the age of 2 versus 34% of whites (HR 1.9; P=0.01).


Later diagnosis and decreased survival in African American children with HB warrants further research.

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