Liver Tumors in Beckwith Wiedemann Syndrome: Can Alpha-Fetoprotein Levels Distinguish Benign from Malignant Tumors?

Sena Houessou-Adin head shot

Name: Sena Houessou-Adin
Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Advisor: Dean Fraga; Stephanie Strand (second reader)

Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) is an overgrowth disorder typically brought to the attention of physicians by the recognition of physical features in children, categorized as major and minor features. It is associated with genetic and epigenetic changes on the chromosome 11p15 region. BWS is a common cancer predisposition disorder, and as a result, BWS patients receive tumor screening. BWS patients are screened using ultrasound (US) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to detect abdominal tumors, and alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) to detect liver masses. The necessity of AFP screening has some concerns due to challenges with its interpretation and how invasive a blood draw is causing anxiety to patients. An elevated AFP level is not an absolute indication of a malignant tumor, and various factors, such as prematurity, make interpretation challenging. The overarching goal of this study was to focus on whether AFP can be used in patients with BWS to distinguish hepatoblastomas from hemangiomas. Based on this study, AFP is not able to distinguish benign versus malignant tumors in patients with BWS or in the normal population at p >0.05.  After gathering data of 52 patients within 4 groups, we overall analyzed these results through statistics, meta-analysis, and imaging. The literature was consistent with our conclusion that there was not a clear use of AFP alone to distinguish benign versus malignant tumors within the BWS population. All these patients BWS or not, hemangioma or hepatoblastoma, didn’t have the same type of imaging done.

Posted in Comments Enabled, Independent Study, Symposium 2023 on April 14, 2023.

9 responses to “Liver Tumors in Beckwith Wiedemann Syndrome: Can Alpha-Fetoprotein Levels Distinguish Benign from Malignant Tumors?”

  1. Claire smith says:

    YAY SENA so proud of you:))) love you❤️

  2. Danielle Nasoff says:

    So so proud of you Sena!! Doing big things ❤️❤️❤️

  3. Nailah Wheeler says:

    Congratulations Sena! So proud of you!

  4. Jenna Stanton says:

    The kiddos at CHOP are lucky to have someone working as hard as you!! So proud of you Sena, congrats on an amazing I.S.! Cheers to future Dr. Adin ❤️

  5. Kennedy Tanner says:

    I couldn’t be more proud!!!

  6. Doug Morris says:

    Congrats Sena on finishing your IS! Super proud of your hard work 🖤 What future work do you think should be done regarding this research?

  7. Roger France says:

    Interesting question followed by excellent study and well-presented analysis. Congrats!

  8. Jillian Ness says:

    Congrats Sena!! So happy for you!

  9. Colebe says:

    Very impressive Sena. Congrats on all your hard work!