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Hepatoblastoma incidence in Taiwan: A population-based study

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Background: The incidence of hepatoblastoma is not well known in Taiwan. The goal of this study was to investigate the incidence rates of hepatoblastoma by age and sex. Methods: The data of patients with hepatoblastoma diagnosed from 1995 to 2012 were obtained from the population-based Taiwan Cancer Registry. Incidence rates of hepatoblastoma according to sex and age were analyzed. This study employed the published methods of International Agency for Research on Cancer to calculate the age-standardized incidence rates (ASIRs), standard errors, 95% confidence intervals (CIs), and standardized incidence rate ratios (SIRRs). Results: In total, 211 patients were diagnosed with hepatoblastoma during the 18-year study period. The ASIR was 0.76 per million person-years. Hepatoblastoma was predominantly diagnosed in children (n = 184, 87.2%). By contrast, adolescents/adults (n = 10, 4.7%) and elderly people (n = 17, 8.1%) were rarely affected. The incidence peaked at ages 0–4 years with corresponding ASIR of 7.3 per million person-years. A significant male predilection was only found in children and elderly people, with male-to-female SIRRs of 1.23 and 1.89, respectively. During 1995–2012, the overall incidence of hepatoblastoma significantly increased only in children (annual percent change: 7.4%, 95% CI 3.9%–11.1%, p < 0.05) and specifically in boys (annual percent change: 6.5%, 95% CI 1.9%–11.2%, p < 0.05). Conclusion: Only 27 patients aged ≥ 15 years with hepatoblastoma were identified in this study, the existence of adult hepatoblastoma still requires novel molecular tools to elucidate. The association between the upward trend of hepatoblastoma incidence in boys and increased survival of prematurity in Taiwan warrants further investigations.

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Hung, G. Y., Lin, L. Y., Yu, T. Y., Lee, C. Y., Yen, H. J., & Horng, J. L. (2018). Hepatoblastoma incidence in Taiwan: A population-based study. Journal of the Chinese Medical Association, 81(6), 541–547.

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