Fibrolamellar carcinoma

What causes fibrolamellar carcinoma?

The exact underlying cause of fibrolamellar carcinoma (FLC) is poorly understood. Other forms of liver cancer are often associated with liver cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) which may be caused by alcohol abuse; autoimmune diseases of the liver; Hepatitis B or C viral infections; chronic inflammation of the liver; and/or hemochromatosis. However, FLC typically occurs in the absence of underlying liver inflammation or scarring; thus, specific risk factors for this condition remain unidentified.

Recent research suggests that a deletion on chromosome 19 may play a key role in the formation of FLC. This deletion is called a "somatic mutation" since it is only present in the cells of the liver. Somatic mutations accumulate during a person's lifetime and are not inherited or passed on to future generations.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How is fibrolamellar carcinoma diagnosed?

If fibrolamellar carcinoma (FLC) is suspected based on the presence of certain signs and symptoms, imaging studies such as ultrasound, MRI scan and/or CT scan are typically recommended for diagnosis and staging. Unlike other forms of liver cancer, serum alpha fetoprotein is typically not elevated in FLC.

Medscape Reference's Web site offers more specific information on the diagnosis of FLC. Please click on the link to access this resource.

Last updated on 05-01-20

What is the long-term outlook for people with fibrolamellar carcinoma?

The long-term outlook (prognosis) for people with fibrolamellar carcinoma (FLC) is generally better than other forms of liver cancer, particularly when treated with surgical resection. In fact, reported 5-year survival rates range from 51 to 70% following liver resection.

Unfortunately, the prognosis is less favorable in people with unresectable disease. The median survival of these patients is approximately 14 months.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How might fibrolamellar carcinoma be treated?

The standard treatment for fibrolamellar carcinoma (FLC) is surgical resection. Due to the rarity of the condition, there is limited information to support the use of other treatment options and there is no standard chemotherapy regimen. However, other treatments may be considered if surgical resection isn't an option. For example, liver transplantation may be considered in patients who are not candidates for partial resection (removing a portion of the liver).

Medscape Reference's Web site offers more specific information on the treatment and management of FLC. Please click the link to access this resource.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Clinical Research Resources

Fibrolamellar Tissue Repository

The Fibrolamellar Tissue Repository is a tissue bank for fibrolamellar samples obtained during surgery. This repository is a resource for Rockefeller University and other approved academic institutions who are interested in performing scientific research that will improve the diagnosis, treatment, and understanding of this rare disease.

Last updated on 04-27-20

Name: Fibrolamellar Cancer Foundation 20 Horseneck Lane, 2nd Floor
Greenwich, CT, 06830, United States
Phone: 203-862-3196 Email: Url:
Name: American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases 1001 North Fairfax, 4th floor
Alexandria, VA, 22314, United States
Phone: 703–299–9766 Fax : 703–299–9622 Email: Url:
Name: American Liver Foundation 39 Broadway, Suite 2700
New York, NY, 10006, United States
Phone: +1-212-668-1000 Toll Free: +1-800-465-4837 (Helpline) Email: Url:
Name: The Max Burdette Fibrolamellar Cancer Research Foundation 9056 Stone Walk Place Ste 246
Germantown, TN, 38138, United States
Phone: (901) 842-9234 Email: Url:

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