Fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma (FLC) is a rare primary liver cancer that affects primarily adolescents and young adults. It is associated with a poor overall prognosis. There is a need to better define risk factors, but small sample size has limited such studies. An FLC patient registry now provides data sufficient for statistically robust inferences. We leveraged a unique patient community–based FLC registry to analyze the prognostic impact of demographic and clinical characteristics evident at diagnosis. Variables were analyzed using Cox proportional hazards regression to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). In multivariable models of 149 patients (88 females and 61 males), female gender was associated with statistically significant improved survival with HR of 0.52 (95% CI 0.29–0.93). Factors evident at diagnosis that are associated with worse survival included the presence of 10 or more tumors within the liver (HR 7.1; 95% CI 2.4–21.04), and metastases at diagnosis (HR 2.17; 95% CI 1.19–3.94). Positive lymph nodes at diagnosis, despite being found significantly associated with worse survival in a univariate analysis, did not remain significant when adjusted for covariates in a multivariable analysis. We found no statistically significant effect of age at diagnosis nor tumor size at diagnosis on survival. Female gender may confer a favorable prognosis in FLC. Established high-risk prognostic factors that we confirmed in this Registry included the diagnostic presence of numerous intrahepatic tumors, and metastases. This is the first study derived from a FLC patient community–based registry, and highlights how registries of rare tumors can empower patients to meaningfully advance clinical and scientific discoveries.
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