Rare Hematology News

Disease Profile

Fibrolamellar carcinoma

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

Fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma; Eosinophilic hepatocellular carcinoma with lamellar fibrosis; Polygonal cell hepatocellular carcinoma with fibrous stroma;


Rare Cancers


Fibrolamellar carcinoma (FLC) is a rare form of liver cancer which is generally diagnosed in adolescents and young adults (before age 40). Many people with early FLC have no signs or symptoms of the condition. When present, symptoms are often nonspecific (i.e. abdominal pain, weight loss, malaise) and blamed on other, more common conditions. The exact underlying cause of FLC is poorly understood. Unlike other forms of liver cancer, FLC typically occurs in the absence of underlying liver inflammation or scarring; thus, specific risk factors for this condition remain unidentified. FLC is typically treated with surgical resection.[1][2][3]


Many people with early fibrolamellar carcinoma (FLC) have no signs or symptoms of the condition. When present, symptoms are often nonspecific and blamed on other, more common conditions. Signs and symptoms may include:[1][2][4][5]

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Weight loss.
  • Malaise.
  • Jaundice.
  • Nausea and/or vomiting.
  • A palpable liver mass found on a physical exam.

Other signs and symptoms that have been reported less commonly include:[1][4]


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.[1][2][3]

Recent research suggests that a deletion on chromosome 19 may play a key role in the formation of FLC.[6] 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.


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.[1][2]

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


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).[1][2]

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


Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

Organizations Supporting this Disease

    Organizations Providing General Support

      Learn more

      These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

      In-Depth Information

      • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
      • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
      • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
      • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Fibrolamellar carcinoma. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


        1. Michael A Choti, MD, MBA, FACS. Fibrolamellar Carcinoma. Medscape Reference. August 2015; https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/278354-overview.
        2. Lim II, Farber BA, LaQuaglia MP. Advances in fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma: a review. Eur J Pediatr Surg. December 2014; 24(6):461-466.
        3. Arief Suriawinata, MD. Pathology of malignant liver tumors. UpToDate. November 2014; Accessed 4/22/2015.
        4. What is Fibrolamellar?. Fibrolamellar Cancer Foundation. https://fibrofoundation.org/learn/what-is-fibro/. Accessed 4/13/2018.
        5. Chagas AL, Kikuchi L, Herman P, et al. Clinical and pathological evaluation of fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma: a single center study of 21 cases. Clinics (Sao Paulo). January, 2016; 70(3):207-213. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmid/26017653/.
        6. Honeyman JN, Simon EP, Robine N, Chiaroni-Clarke R, Darcy DG, Lim II, Gleason CE, Murphy JM, Rosenberg BR, Teegan L, Takacs CN, Botero S, Belote R, Germer S, Emde AK, Vacic V, Bhanot U, LaQuaglia MP, Simon SM. Detection of a recurrent DNAJB1-PRKACA chimeric transcript in fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma. Science. February 2014; 343(6174):1010-1014.
        7. Darcy DG, Malek MM, Kobos R, Klimstra DS, DeMatteo R, La Quaglia MP. Prognostic factors in fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma in young people. J Pediatr Surg. Jan 2015; 50(1):153-156.
        8. Mavros MN, Mayo SC, Hyder O, Pawlik TM. A systematic review: treatment and prognosis of patients with fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma. J Am Coll Surg. December 2012; 215(6):820-830.
        9. Eggert T, McGlynn KA, Duffy A, Manns MP, Greten TF, Altekruse SF. Fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma in the USA, 2000-2010: A detailed report on frequency, treatment and outcome based on the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database. United European Gastroenterol J. 2013 Oct;1(5):351-7. October 2013; 1(5):351-7.

        Rare Hematology News

        fascinating Rare disease knowledge right in your inbox
        Subscribe to receive
        We want to hear your opinion. Answer a few questions about treatment practices and we'll send you a $30 Amazon gift card.
        The survey takes 2-3 minutes and your gift card will be sent to your email.