Pediatric Liver Tumor Program

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Liver Tumor Program

World-Class Expertise. Healing. Hope.


Nemours expert oncologists help kids with liver tumors

The Nemours Liver Tumor Program has top pediatric experts in oncology, cancer surgery, liver transplant and interventional radiology. We work together as a comprehensive team to create a specialized treatment plan for each child with a liver tumor. Nemours is one of the only children’s hospitals in the country performing cutting-edge procedures like radioembolization of liver tumors with yttrium-90 (Y90).

Radioembolization (Y90) is an innovative new therapy in children that allows targeted high-dose radiation therapy to be delivered directly into liver tumors through an intra-arterial catheter (a long, thin tube inserted into the arteries). Because Y90 targets the radiation directly to the tumor, it prevents damage to the normal liver tissue around the tumor.

Learn More About Liver Tumors

Conditions We Treat

Conditions We Treat


We treat these cancers at the Nemours Liver Tumor Program:

  • hepatoblastoma (HB) — the most common type of pediatric liver cancer
  • hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) — a liver tumor that often happens in children with other liver disease
  • rhabdoid tumor of the liver — a rare, aggressive tumor most often found in babies
  • undifferentiated embryonal sarcoma of the liver (UESL) — a rare liver tumor that most often affects children 6-10 years old

We also treat liver tumors that are not cancerous (they’re “benign”).

Services We Offer

Services We Offer


Treatment of cancerous liver tumors depends on staging. Staging considers the size and location of the tumor (or tumors), how easily it can be removed by surgery, and whether it’s spread to nearby or distant organs. We also look at a child’s age and overall heath to help us develop a treatment plan that might include these options, together or on their own:

Chemotherapy (“chemo”). This is the term for medications used to kill cancer cells and stop their growth.

Surgery. Pediatric liver tumors need to be removed to be cured. The liver is a unique organ in the body. Even if surgeons take out a large portion of the liver, the remaining part can regenerate (regrow). The liver is the only organ that can grow back like this.

Liver transplant. This is a surgical procedure that removes the entire liver and requires replacement with another liver from either a living related donor or from a deceased organ donor. A child may need a liver transplant if the tumor can’t be removed due to its size or location without leaving enough of the liver behind to function.

Over the past 30 years, children with liver cancer have had excellent cure rates thanks to liver transplants. In fact, most kids who have liver transplants go on to live active, healthy lives. However, following a liver transplant they will need to take medicine to help prevent problems, and get regular checkups to make sure the liver is working correctly. Doctors and researchers are looking for ways to decrease the number of children who need a liver transplant.

Advanced interventional radiology (IR) procedures performed by our interventional radiologist (a doctor who specializes in image-guided therapy). Techniques are minimally invasive, which means we use tiny incisions. And that means shorter recovery times and less pain for kids. Our IR procedures include:

  • transarterial radioembolization with yttrium-90 (or Y90), which delivers a high dose of radiation therapy directly into the tumor(s)
  • transarterial chemoembolization (TACE), which delivers chemotherapy medication directly to the tumor
  • bland embolization, which uses small particles to shut off the blood supply of the tumor
  • tumor ablation, which kills tumors using small needles to heat or cool them
Why Choose Us

Why Choose Us


If your child has a liver tumor, our comprehensive team of pediatric experts from many specialties will create the most effective treatment plan personalized for your child’s specific needs. Here are just some of the reasons families choose us for their pediatric liver cancer care:

  • large team of experts, including a clinical coordinator (a nurse who provides support, education and care coordination) and specialists in oncology (cancer care), hepatology (liver care), general surgery, liver transplantation, interventional radiology, anesthesiology, pain management, nutrition, social work and more
  • expertise from a network of locations with telemedicine. This means your child can meet with our complete team of experts regardless of their physical location.
  • one of the largest pediatric hematology/oncology programs in the country (when combining our patient numbers from all of our locations)
  • one of only two pediatric National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Programs (NCORP) in the nation dedicated exclusively to children. Because our care and research go hand-in-hand, your child gets exceptional care combined with the newest evidenced-based treatments and techniques.
  • one of the largest pediatric interventional radiology programs in the United States (with teams in the Delaware Valley and Florida)
  • one of the nation’s top programs performing advanced liver procedures in children
  • leader in surgical results and overall quality of surgical care. Nemours is involved in a nationwide effort to improve surgical care for kids.
  • physicians and surgeons recognized as “Best Doctors in America®” and “Top Doctors” by local magazines in our regions, year after year
Regional Pediatric Liver Tumor Program Highlights

Services, programs and care teams differ at each location. Call for details.

U.S. News & World Report Best Children’s Hospitals: Cancer

We offer liver tumor services at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children (Wilmington, Del.) and select satellite Nemours duPont Pediatrics locations.

  • ranked among the top 20 children’s hospitals in the nation for pediatric oncology by U.S. News & World Report
  • one of the nation’s best for pediatric liver transplants based on our clinical outcomes (when considered according to how complex a case is and how severe the illness)
Leapfrog logo

We offer liver tumor services at Nemours Children’s Hospital (Orlando) and select satellite Nemours Children’s Specialty Care locations.

  • recognized as one of the “Top Children’s Hospitals” by The Leapfrog Group (2014 and 2016)

We offer liver tumor services at Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Jacksonville and select satellite locations.

  • Wolfson's Children's Hospital (where our Nemours physicians provide expertise and care) ranked among the nation’s best children’s hospitals for pediatric oncology by U.S. News & World Report 
Patient Stories

Patient Stories


Lauren, a Nemours liver tumor patient

Sometimes the best support and peace of mind comes from families who’ve been there. Meet some of the inspiring kids we’ve been honored to treat.

See Patient Stories »

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Research & Clinical Trials

At Nemours, we’re actively researching new approaches for childhood disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

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Learn more about your child’s medical condition from the experts at Nemours’ KidsHealth.