Liver Cancer in Tyrosinemia Type 1

Willem G. van Ginkel, Jan P. Pennings, Francjan J. van Spronsen*

*Corresponding author voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

33 Citaten (Scopus)
76 Downloads (Pure)


Hereditary Tyrosinemia type I (HT1) is clinically mainly characterised by severe liver disease. Most patients present in their first months of life with liver failure, but others can present later with issues of compensated cirrhosis, renal tubulopathy or acute intermittent porphyria. If patients survive the acute phase with liver failure or if they present later with compensated cirrhosis, they often develop hepatocellular carcinoma early but also later in life. The course of the disease changed after the introduction of 2-(2 nitro-4-3 trifluoro-methylbenzoyl)-1,3-cyclohexanedione (NTBC), which blocks the tyrosine degradation pathway at an earlier step. Therefore, the toxic products did not accumulate anymore and all clinical problems resolved. However, the risk (although clearly decreased) for developing liver cancer remained, especially if NTBC treatment is initiated late, a slow decrease of the tumor marker alpha-fetoprotein is seen or if the alpha-fetoprotein concentrations remain just above the normal range. A rise of alpha-fetoprotein in these HT1 patients is more or less pathognomonic for liver cancer. Although hepatoblastoma development occurs in HT1 patients, most HT1 patients develop hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or a mixed type of carcinoma consisting of HCC and hepatoblastoma. Due to the small risk of liver cancer development, screening for liver cancer (especially HCC) is still recommended in HT1 patients using regular measures of alpha-fetoprotein and imaging. Ultrasound is mostly the modality of choice for surveillance, because it is widely available, it does not use radiation and is noninvasive. When a suspicious lesion is present, the higher sensitivity of MRI could be used for characterization and staging of lesions. At this moment, no HCC development in pre-symptomatically treated patients is reported. These different situations could possibly indicate that NTBC can prevent the start of the development of HCC when initiated early, but can't stop the development of HCC if it is prescribed at a later stage, stressing the importance of early diagnosis.

Originele taal-2English
RedacteurenRM Tanguay
UitgeverijSpringer International Publishing AG
Aantal pagina's9
ISBN van elektronische versie978-3-319-55780-9
ISBN van geprinte versie978-3-319-55779-3
StatusPublished - 2017

Publicatie series

NaamAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN van geprinte versie0065-2598


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