Hepatoblastoma (HB) is the most common pediatric liver malignancy. Management of HB requires multidisciplinary efforts. The 5-year overall survival of this disease is about 80% in developed countries. Despite advances in the care of these patients, survival in recurrent or treatment-refractory disease is lower than 50%. This is due to more complex tumor biology, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)-like mutations and expression of aggressive gene signatures leading to chemoresistance, vascular invasion, and metastatic spread. The current treatment protocols for pediatric liver cancer do not incorporate targeted therapies, and the ability to test these therapies is limited due to the inaccessibility of cell lines and mouse models. In this review, we discuss the current status of preclinical animal modeling in pediatric liver cancer, primarily HB. Although HB is a rare cancer, the research community has worked together to develop a range of interesting and relevant mouse models for diverse preclinical studies.
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