Clinical Trials / Research Studies
Clinical Trials / Research Studies

AHEP1531: Pediatric Hepatic Malignancy International Therapeutic Trial (PHITT)

Why are we doing this research?


This partially randomized phase II/III trial studies how well cisplatin and combination chemotherapy works in treating children and young adults with hepatoblastoma or liver cancer after surgery. Drugs used in chemotherapy, such as cisplatin, doxorubicin, fluorouracil, vincristine sulfate, carboplatin, etoposide, irinotecan, sorafenib, gemcitabine and oxaliplatin, work in different ways to stop the growth of tumor cells, either by killing the cells, by stopping them from dividing, or by stopping them from spreading. Giving combination chemotherapy after surgery may kill more tumor cells.



  • To reduce therapy associated toxicity for patients with non-metastatic hepatoblastoma (HB) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) without adversely affecting long term outcomes.
  • To determine the event-free survival (EFS) in patients with HB whose tumor is completely resected at diagnosis and either receive no adjuvant chemotherapy (completely resected well differentiated fetal histology HB) or 2 cycles of standard dose cisplatin monotherapy (completely resected non-well differentiated fetal histology HB ? 100 mg/m^2/cycle given 3 weeks apart). (Group A) III. To demonstrate that 4 to 6 cycles of interval compressed lower dose cisplatin monotherapy (80 mg/m^2/cycle; 320 480 mg/m^2 total) is adequate for low risk HB. (Group B) IV. In patients who are resected after 2 cycles of cisplatin monotherapy, to compare EFS following a randomized comparison of 2 versus 4 post-operative cycles of cisplatin monotherapy. (Group B) V. In patients whose tumors are deemed unresectable after 2 cycles of cisplatin monotherapy, to determine the proportion of tumors rendered completely resectable by an additional 2 or 4 cycles of chemotherapy. (Group B) VI. To compare in a randomized fashion, EFS in patients with intermediate risk HB treated with 6 cycles of cisplatin/5-fluorouracil/vincristine/doxorubicin (C5VD) chemotherapy versus 6 cycles of interval compressed cisplatin monotherapy (100 mg/m^2/dose). (Group C) VII. To determine the EFS in patients with HCC whose tumor is completely resected at diagnosis who receive no adjuvant chemotherapy (completely resected HCC arising in the context of underlying liver disease) or 4 cycles of cisplatin/doxorubicin (PLADO) (completely resected de novo HCC). (Group E) VIII. To improve the EFS of patients with high risk HB by treating them with interval compressed cisplatin and doxorubicin based induction regimen followed by response-adapted consolidation therapy. (Group D) IX. In patients whose metastatic disease resolves with the administration of Societe Internationale d?Oncologie Pediatrique (SIOPEL) 4 Induction therapy, to determine if the promising pilot results observed in SIOPEL 4 can be validated in a large international study. (Group D1) X. In patients whose metastatic disease does not resolve with the administration of SIOPEL 4 Induction therapy, to determine in a randomized comparison which post induction treatment (irinotecan and vincristine sulfate [vincristine] alternating with carboplatin and doxorubicin or carboplatin and etoposide alternating with carboplatin and doxorubicin) results in superior outcomes. (Group D Arm CE & Arm VI) XI. In patients with unresectable/metastatic HCC at diagnosis, to determine whether the addition of gemcitabine and oxaliplatin (GEMOX + sorafenib) to a cisplatin, doxorubicin and sorafenib backbone improves chemotherapy response, resectability and survival. (Group F).

Study Type: Interventional
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment

Masking: None (Open Label)

Primary Purpose: Treatment

Who can participate?


Inclusion Criteria:

  • Patients must have a performance status corresponding to Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) scores of 0, 1, or 2; use Karnofsky for patients > 16 years of age and Lansky for patients =< 16 years of age; patients who are unable to walk because of paralysis, but who are up in a wheelchair, will be considered ambulatory for the purpose of assessing the performance score
  • Patients must be newly diagnosed with histologically-proven primary pediatric hepatic malignancies including hepatoblastoma or hepatocellular carcinoma, except as noted below; note that rapid central pathology review is required in some cases; please note: all patients with histology as assessed by the institutional pathologist consistent with pure small cell undifferentiated (SCU) HB will be required to have testing for INI1/SMARCB1 by immunohistochemistry (IHC) according to the practices at the institution
  • Patients with histology consistent with pure SCU must have positive INI1/SMARCB1 staining
  • In emergency situations when a patient meets all other eligibility criteria and has had baseline required observations, but is too ill to undergo a biopsy safely, the patient may be enrolled without a biopsy
    • Clinical situations in which emergent treatment may be indicated include, but are not limited to, the following circumstances:
      • Anatomic or mechanical compromise of critical organ function by tumor (e.g., respiratory distress/failure, abdominal compartment syndrome, urinary obstruction, etc.)
      • Uncorrectable coagulopathy
    • For a patient to maintain eligibility for AHEP1531 when emergent treatment is given, the following must occur:
      • The patient must have a clinical diagnosis of hepatoblastoma, including an elevated alphafetoprotein (AFP), and must meet all AHEP1531 eligibility criteria at the time of emergent treatment
      • Patient must be enrolled on AHEP1531 prior to initiating protocol therapy; a patient will be ineligible if any chemotherapy is administered prior to AHEP1531 enrollment
    • Note: If the patient receives AHEP1531 chemotherapy emergently PRIOR to undergoing a diagnostic biopsy, pathologic review of material obtained in the future during either biopsy or surgical resection must either confirm the diagnosis of hepatoblastoma or not reveal another pathological diagnosis to be included in the analysis of the study aims
  • Patients may have had surgical resection of the hepatic malignancy prior to enrollment; all other anti-cancer therapy for the current liver lesion is prohibited
  • Creatinine clearance or radioisotope glomerular filtration rate (GFR) >= 70 mL/min/1.73 m^2 or
    • A serum creatinine based on age/gender as follows:
      • Age: maximum serum creatinine (mg/dL)
      • 1 month to < 6 months: 0.4 (male and female)
      • 6 months to < 1 year: 0.5 (male and female)
      • 1 to < 2 years: 06 (male and female)
      • 2 to < 6 years: 0.8 (male and female)
      • 6 to < 10 years: 1 (male and female)
      • 10 to < 13 years: 1.2 (male and female)
      • 13 to < 16 years: 1.5 (male), 1.4 (female)
      • >= 16 years: 1.7 (male), 1.4 (female)
  • Total bilirubin =< 5 x upper limit of normal (ULN) for age
  • Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) (serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase [SGOT])/alanine aminotransferase (ALT) (serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase [SGPT]) < 10x upper limit of normal (ULN) for age
  • Shortening fraction of >= 27% by echocardiogram (for patients on doxorubicin-containing regimens [Groups C, D, E, and F]), or
  • Ejection fraction of >= 50% by radionuclide angiogram (for patients on doxorubicin-containing regimens (Groups C, D, E, and F)
  • Normal pulmonary function tests (including diffusion capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide [DLCO]) if there is clinical indication for determination (e.g. dyspnea at rest, known requirement for supplemental oxygen); for patients who do not have respiratory symptoms or requirement for supplemental oxygen, pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are NOT required
  • All patients and/or their parents or legal guardians must sign a written informed consent
  • All institutional, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and National Cancer Institute (NCI) requirements for human studies must be met.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Prior chemotherapy or tumor directed therapy (i.e. radiation therapy, biologic agents, local therapy (embolization, radiofrequency ablation, and laser); therefore, patients with a pre-disposition syndrome who have a prior malignancy are not eligible
  • Patients who are currently receiving another investigational drug
  • Patients who are currently receiving other anticancer agents
  • Patients with uncontrolled infection
  • Patients who previously received a solid organ transplant
  • This criteria apply ONLY to patients who will receive chemotherapy (all groups other than Group E1):
    • Female patients who are pregnant; a pregnancy test is required for female patients of childbearing potential
    • Lactating females who plan to breastfeed their infants
    • Sexually active patients of reproductive potential who have not agreed to use an effective contraceptive method for the duration of their study participation
    • Note for Group F: patients of childbearing potential should use effective birth control during treatment with sorafenib and for at least 2 weeks after stopping treatment


  • Up to 30 Years


  • Liver New Diagnosis
  • Adult - Liver New Diagnosis


Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Division of Hematology/Oncology
3333 Burnet Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039
Phone: 513-636-2799