New Delhi: An infant from Nepal who was only eight days old when he came here with a rare form of malignant liver tumour is cancer free now after undergoing six cycles of chemotherapy and surgical resection, doctors said on Friday. The baby, now three months, was suffering from hepatoblastoma, a rare tumour that originates in cells of the liver, and had been admitted to the Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurugram.
Cancerous liver tumour in early childhood has an approximate incidence of 1.2 per million, while congenital hepatoblastoma is even rarer, doctors said. A team of doctors, led by Vikas Dua, principal director, of paediatric haematology, oncology and BMT, managed the case through six cycles of chemotherapy and surgical resection. “The baby presented to us on day eight of life with a solid mass in the liver which was picked up incidentally on an antenatal scan. It was a very challenging case considering the baby was a newborn. However, she tolerated chemotherapy well and did not experience any major side effects,” Dua said.
Ultrasonography of the abdomen revealed that two segments of her liver had a tumour (3.7×2.4×3.8 cm). Chemotherapy was immediately started, followed by surgery and again some more cycles of chemotherapy were given.
According to Dua, the prognosis is excellent for children with standard risk who have a good response to chemotherapy and good resection. ”The dose of chemotherapy was quite small so we had to be careful. As it was a malignant tumour, it could result in liver failure which could have been life-threatening. Currently, the patient is three months old and under continuous follow-up of paediatric oncology service,” he added.