In English | En español
Questions About Cancer? 1-800-4-CANCER

Neuroblastoma Treatment (PDQ®)

  • Last Modified: 01/14/2014

Page Options

  • Print This Page
  • Print This Document
  • View Entire Document
  • Email This Document

General Information About Neuroblastoma

Risk Factors
Biologic and Molecular Features
        Biological subtypes
        Molecular features
Neuroblastoma Screening
Clinical Presentation
        Opsoclonus/myoclonus syndrome
Prognostic Factors
        Age at diagnosis
        Clinical stage of disease
        Site of primary tumor
        Tumor histology
        Regional lymph node involvement
        Response to treatment
        Biological features
Spontaneous Regression of Neuroblastoma

Fortunately, cancer in children and adolescents is rare, although the overall incidence of childhood cancer has been slowly increasing since 1975.[1] Children and adolescents with cancer are usually referred to medical centers that have a multidisciplinary team of cancer specialists with experience treating the cancers that occur during childhood and adolescence. This multidisciplinary team approach incorporates the skills of the following health care professionals and others to ensure that children receive treatment, supportive care, and rehabilitation that will enable them to achieve optimal survival and quality of life:

  • Primary care physician.
  • Pediatric surgical subspecialists.
  • Radiation oncologists.
  • Pediatric medical oncologists/hematologists.
  • Rehabilitation specialists.
  • Pediatric nurse specialists.
  • Social workers.

(Refer to the PDQ summaries on Supportive and Palliative Care for specific information about supportive care for children and adolescents with cancer.)

Guidelines for pediatric cancer centers and their role in the treatment of pediatric patients with cancer have been outlined by the American Academy of Pediatrics.[2] At these pediatric cancer centers, clinical trials are available for most types of cancer that occur in children and adolescents, and the opportunity to participate in these trials is offered to most patients and families. Clinical trials for children and adolescents with cancer are generally designed to compare potentially better therapy with therapy that is currently accepted as standard. Most of the progress made in identifying curative therapies for childhood cancers has been achieved through clinical trials. Information about ongoing clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Dramatic improvements in survival have been achieved for children and adolescents with cancer.[1,3,4] Between 1975 and 2010, childhood cancer mortality decreased by more than 50%.[1,3,4] Childhood and adolescent cancer survivors require close follow-up since cancer therapy side effects may persist or develop months or years after treatment. (Refer to the PDQ summary on Late Effects of Treatment for Childhood Cancer for specific information about the incidence, type, and monitoring of late effects in childhood and adolescent cancer survivors.)


Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial solid tumor in childhood. More than 650 cases are diagnosed each year in North America.[5,6] The prevalence is about 1 case per 7,000 live births; the incidence is about 10.54 cases per 1 million per year in children younger than 15 years. About 37% are diagnosed as infants, and 90% are younger than 5 years at diagnosis, with a median age at diagnosis of 19 months.[7]

While there is no racial variation in incidence, there are racial differences in tumor biology, with African Americans more likely to have high-risk disease and fatal outcome.[8,9]

Population-based studies of screening for infants with neuroblastoma have demonstrated that spontaneous regression of neuroblastoma without clinical detection in the first year of life is at least as prevalent as clinically detected neuroblastoma.[10-12]


Neuroblastoma originates in the adrenal medulla or the paraspinal sites where sympathetic nervous system tissue is present.

Risk Factors

Little is known about the events that predispose to the development of neuroblastoma. Parental exposures have not been definitively linked to neuroblastoma.

Germline deletion at the 1p36 or 11q14-23 locus is associated with neuroblastoma, and the same deletions are found somatically in sporadic neuroblastomas.[13,14]

About 1% to 2% of patients with neuroblastoma have a family history of neuroblastoma. These children are on average younger (9 months at diagnosis), and about 20% have multifocal primary neuroblastomas. The primary cause of familial neuroblastoma is a germline mutation in the ALK gene.[15] Familial neuroblastoma is rarely associated with congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (Ondine’s curse), which is caused by a germline mutation of the PHOX2B gene.[16]

Biologic and Molecular Features

Biological subtypes

On the basis of biologic factors and an improved understanding of the molecular development of the neural crest cells that give rise to neuroblastoma, neuroblastic tumors have been categorized into the following three biological types:

  • Type 1: Characterized by gains and losses of whole chromosomes. It expresses the TrkA neurotrophin receptor, is hyperdiploid, and tends to spontaneously regress.[17,18]

  • Type 2A: Characterized by copy number alterations in portions of chromosomes. Type 2A expresses the TrkB neurotrophin receptor and its ligand, has gained an additional copy of chromosome 17q, has loss of heterozygosity of 14q or 11q, and is genomically unstable.[17,18]

  • Type 2B: Generally has the MYCN gene amplified and has a gain of chromosome 17q, loss of chromosome 1p, and expression of the TrkB neurotrophin receptor and its ligand.[17,18]

These specific genetic changes may be combined with traditional clinical factors such as patient age and tumor stage to refine neuroblastoma risk classes.

Children whose tumors have lost a copy of 11q are older at diagnosis, and their tumors contain more segmental chromosome changes in gene copy number compared with children whose tumors show MYCN amplification.[19,20] Moreover, segmental chromosome changes not detected at diagnosis may be found in neuroblastomas at relapse. This suggests that clinically important tumor progression is associated with accumulation of segmental chromosomal alterations.[21]

Molecular features

Approximately 6% to 10% of sporadic neuroblastomas carry somatic ALK-activating mutations, and an additional 3% to 4% have a high frequency of ALK gene amplification. The mutations result in constitutive phosphorylation of ALK, leading to dysregulation of cell signaling and uncontrolled proliferation of the ALK-mutant neuroblasts. Thus, inhibition of ALK kinase is a potential target for treatment of neuroblastoma, especially in children whose tumors harbor an ALK mutation or ALK gene amplification.[22]

Genome-wide association studies in children with neuroblastoma have found common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with a modest susceptibility to develop high-risk neuroblastoma.[23,24] Other SNPs are associated with susceptibility to develop low-risk neuroblastoma.[24] SNPs associated with race predict a higher incidence of neuroblastoma and worse outcome.[25]

Large genomic studies have found few recurrent gene mutations in patients with neuroblastoma, including ALK (9.2%), PTPN11 (2.9%), ATRX (2.5%; 7.1% focal deletions), MYCN (1.7%), and NRAS (0.8%).[19,21,26,27] ATRX is involved in epigenetic gene silencing and telomere length. ATRX mutation without MYCN amplification is associated with older age at diagnosis in adolescents and young adults with metastatic neuroblastoma.[28] It is unclear whether an ATRX mutation is an independent prognostic risk factor.

Neuroblastoma Screening

Current data do not support neuroblastoma screening. Screening at the ages of 3 weeks, 6 months, or 1 year caused no reduction in the incidence of advanced-stage neuroblastoma with unfavorable biological characteristics in older children, nor did it reduce the number of deaths from neuroblastoma in infants screened at any age.[11,12] No public health benefits have been shown from screening infants for neuroblastoma at these ages. (Refer to the PDQ summary on Neuroblastoma Screening for more information.)

Evidence (against neuroblastoma screening):

  1. A large population-based North American study, in which most infants in Quebec were screened at the ages of 3 weeks and 6 months, has shown that screening detects many neuroblastomas with favorable characteristics [10,11] that would never have been detected clinically, apparently due to spontaneous regression of the tumors.

  2. Another study of infants screened at the age of 1 year shows similar results.[12]

Clinical Presentation

The most common presentation of neuroblastoma is an abdominal mass. The most frequent signs and symptoms of neuroblastoma are due to tumor mass and metastases. They include the following:

  • Proptosis and periorbital ecchymosis: Common in high-risk patients and arise from retrobulbar metastasis.

  • Abdominal distention: May occur with respiratory compromise in infants due to massive liver metastases.

  • Bone pain: Occurs in association with metastatic disease.

  • Pancytopenia: May result from extensive bone marrow metastasis.

  • Fever, hypertension, and anemia: Occasionally found in patients without metastasis.

  • Paralysis: Because they originate in paraspinal ganglia, neuroblastomas may invade through neural foramina and compress the spinal cord extradurally. Immediate treatment is given for symptomatic spinal cord compression. (Refer to the Treatment of Spinal Cord Compression section of this summary for more information.)

  • Watery diarrhea: On rare occasions, children may have severe, watery diarrhea due to the secretion of vasoactive intestinal peptide by the tumor, or may have protein-losing enteropathy with intestinal lymphangiectasia.[29] Vasoactive intestinal peptide secretion may also occur upon chemotherapeutic treatment, and tumor resection reduces vasoactive intestinal peptide secretion.[30]

  • Presence of Horner syndrome: May be caused by neuroblastoma in the stellate ganglion, and children with Horner syndrome without other apparent cause are also examined for neuroblastoma and other tumors.[31]

  • Subcutaneous skin nodules: Neuroblastoma subcutaneous metastasis often has bluish discoloration in the overlying skin and usually is seen only in infants.

The clinical characteristics of neuroblastoma in adolescents are similar to those observed in children. The only exception is that bone marrow involvement occurs less frequently in adolescents, and there is a greater frequency of metastases in unusual sites such as lung or brain.[32]

Opsoclonus/myoclonus syndrome

Paraneoplastic neurologic findings, including cerebellar ataxia or opsoclonus/myoclonus, are rare in children with neuroblastoma.[33] Opsoclonus/myoclonus syndrome is frequently associated with pervasive and permanent neurologic and cognitive deficits, including psychomotor retardation. Neurologic dysfunction is most often a presenting symptom but may arise long after removal of the tumor.[34-36]

Patients who present with opsoclonus/myoclonus syndrome often have neuroblastomas with favorable biological features and are likely to survive, though tumor-related deaths have been reported.[34]

The opsoclonus/myoclonus syndrome appears to be caused by an immunologic mechanism that is not yet fully defined.[34,37] The primary tumor is typically diffusely infiltrated with lymphocytes.[38]

Some patients may clinically respond to removal of the neuroblastoma, but improvement may be slow and partial; symptomatic treatment is often necessary. Adrenocorticotropic hormone or corticosteroid treatment is thought to be effective, but some patients do not respond to corticosteroids.[35,37] Various drugs, plasmapheresis, intravenous gamma globulin, and rituximab have been reported to be effective in selected cases.[35,39-41] The long-term neurologic outcome may be superior in patients treated with chemotherapy, possibly because of its immunosuppressive effects.[33,39]


Diagnostic evaluation of neuroblastoma includes the following:

  • Metaiodobenzylguanidine (mIBG) scan.[42]

  • Imaging of the primary tumor mass: This is generally accomplished by computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with contrast. Paraspinal tumors that might threaten spinal cord compression are imaged using MRI.

  • Urine catecholamine metabolites: Urinary excretion of the catecholamine metabolites vanillylmandelic acid (VMA) and homovanillic acid (HVA) per mg of excreted creatinine is measured before therapy. Collection of urine for 24 hours is not needed. If elevated, these markers can be used to determine the persistence of disease.

    Serum catecholamines are not routinely used in the diagnosis of neuroblastoma except in unusual circumstances.

  • Biopsy: Tumor tissue is often needed to obtain all the biological data required for risk-group assignment and subsequent treatment stratification in current Children’s Oncology Group (COG) clinical trials. There is an absolute requirement for tissue biopsy to determine the International Neuroblastoma Pathology Classification (INPC). In the risk/treatment group assignment schema for the current COG studies, INPC is used to determine treatment for patients with stage 3 disease, stage 4S disease, and patients aged 18 months or younger with stage 4 disease. Additionally, a significant number of tumor cells are needed to determine MYCN copy number DNA index and 11q and 1p loss of heterozygosity. For patients older than 18 months with stage 4 disease, bone marrow with extensive tumor involvement combined with elevated catecholamine metabolites is adequate for diagnosis and assigning risk/treatment group.

    In rare cases, neuroblastoma can be discovered prenatally by fetal ultrasonography.[43] There is controversy about the need for immediate diagnostic biopsy in infants aged 6 months and younger with suspected neuroblastoma tumors that are likely to spontaneously regress. Biopsy was not required for infants entered into a COG study of expectant observation of small adrenal masses in neonates, and 81% avoided undergoing any surgery at all.[44] In a German clinical trial, 25 infants aged 3 months and younger with presumed neuroblastoma were observed without biopsy for periods of 1 to 18 months before biopsy or resection. There were no apparent ill effects of the delay.[45]

The diagnosis of neuroblastoma requires the involvement of pathologists who are familiar with childhood tumors. Some neuroblastomas cannot be differentiated, via conventional light microscopy, from other small round blue cell tumors of childhood, such as lymphomas, primitive neuroectodermal tumors, and rhabdomyosarcomas.

The minimum criterion for a diagnosis of neuroblastoma, as established by international agreement, is that diagnosis must be based on one of the following:

  1. An unequivocal pathologic diagnosis made from tumor tissue by light microscopy (with or without immunohistology, electron microscopy, or increased levels of serum catecholamines [dopamine and norepinephrine] or urinary catecholamine metabolites [VMA or HVA]).[46]

  2. The combination of bone marrow aspirate or trephine biopsy containing unequivocal tumor cells (e.g., syncytia or immunocytologically-positive clumps of cells) and increased levels of serum catecholamines or urinary catecholamine metabolites.[46]

Prognostic Factors

Between 1975 and 2002, the 5-year survival rate for neuroblastoma in the United States has remained stable at approximately 87% for children younger than 1 year and has increased from 37% to 65% in children aged 1 to 14 years.[1] The 5-year overall survival for all infants and children with neuroblastoma has increased from 46% when diagnosed between 1974 and 1989, to 71% when diagnosed between 1999 and 2005;[47] however, this single number can be misleading because of the extremely heterogeneous prognosis based on the neuroblastoma patient's age, stage, and biology. (Refer to the Cellular Classification of Neuroblastic Tumors section of this summary for more information.) Approximately 70% of patients with neuroblastoma have metastatic disease at diagnosis.

The prognosis for patients with neuroblastoma is related to the following:[48-51]

Some of these prognostic factors have been combined to create risk groups to help define treatment. (Refer to the International Neuroblastoma Risk Group Staging System section and the Children’s Oncology Group Neuroblastoma Risk Grouping section of this summary for more information.)

Age at diagnosis

The effect of age at diagnosis on 5-year survival is profound. The 5-year survival stratified by age is as follows:[47]

  • Age younger than 1 year – 90%.
  • Age 1 to 4 years – 68%.
  • Age 5 to 9 years – 52%.
  • Age 10 to 14 years – 66%.

Children of any age with localized neuroblastoma and infants aged 18 months and younger with advanced disease and favorable disease characteristics have a high likelihood of long-term, disease-free survival.[52] The prognosis of fetal and neonatal neuroblastoma are similar to that of older infants with neuroblastoma and similar biological features.[53] Older children with advanced-stage disease, however, have a significantly decreased chance for cure, despite intensive therapy.

Adolescents and young adults

Neuroblastoma has a worse long-term prognosis in an adolescent older than 12 years or in an adult compared with a child, regardless of stage or site and, in many cases, a more prolonged course when treated with standard doses of chemotherapy. Aggressive chemotherapy and surgery have been shown to achieve a minimal disease state in more than 50% of these patients.[32,54,55] Other modalities, such as local radiation therapy and the use of agents with confirmed activity, may improve the poor prognosis for adolescents and adults.[54,55]

Clinical stage of disease

Neuroblastoma tumors have been clinically staged using surgical and pathological data according to the International Neuroblastoma Staging System (INSS). Stage of disease is correlated with outcome.

Studies of children with stage 1 and 2 neuroblastoma with favorable biologic features report an EFS rate of almost 100%, compared with an event-free survival (EFS) rate of about 50% for those who have unfavorable biological features (i.e., INPC and MYCN gene amplification).[56-58] Infants aged 1 year and younger have a greater than 80% cure rate, while older children have a cure rate of 50% to 70% with current, relatively intensive therapy.[59-62]

Survival of patients with INSS stage 4 disease is strongly dependent on age. Children younger than 1 year at diagnosis have a good chance of long-term survival (i.e., a 5-year disease-free survival rate of 50%–80%),[63,64] with outcome particularly dependent on MYCN amplification and tumor cell ploidy. Hyperdiploidy confers a favorable prognosis while diploidy predicts early treatment failure.[60,65] Infants aged 18 months and younger at diagnosis with INSS stage 4 neuroblastoma who do not have MYCN gene amplification are categorized as intermediate risk.[7,66-68]

Site of primary tumor

Site of primary tumor is not an independent prognostic factor. Multifocal (multiple primaries) neuroblastoma occurs rarely, usually in infants, and generally has a good prognosis.[69] Familial neuroblastoma and germline ALK gene mutation should be considered in patients with multiple primary neuroblastomas.

Tumor histology

Neuroblastoma tumor histology has a significant impact on prognosis and risk group assignment (refer to the Cellular Classification of Neuroblastic Tumors section and Table 4 of this summary for more information).

Histologic characteristics considered prognostically favorable include the following:

  • Cellular differentiation/maturation. Higher degrees of neuroblastic maturation confer improved prognosis for stage 4 patients with segmental chromosome changes without MYCN amplification. Neuroblastoma tumors containing many differentiating cells, termed ganglioneuroblastoma, can have diffuse differentiation conferring a very favorable prognosis or can have nodules of undifferentiated cells whose histology, along with MYCN amplification, determine prognosis.[70,71]

  • Schwannian stroma.

  • Cystic neuroblastoma. About 25% of reported neuroblastomas diagnosed in the fetus and neonate are cystic; cystic neuroblastomas have lower stages and a higher incidence of favorable biology.[53]

Histologic characteristics considered prognostically unfavorable include the following:

  • Mitosis.
  • Karyorrhexis.
Regional lymph node involvement

In metastatic neuroblastoma, the presence of cancer in the lymph nodes on the same side of the body as the primary tumor has no effect on prognosis. However, when lymph nodes with metastatic neuroblastoma cross the midline and are on the opposite sides of the body from the primary tumor, the patient is upstaged (refer to the Stage Information for Neuroblastoma section of this summary for more information) and a poorer prognosis is conferred.

Response to treatment

Response to treatment has been associated with outcome. The persistence of neuroblastoma cells in bone marrow after induction chemotherapy, for example, is associated with a poor prognosis, which may be assessed by sensitive minimal residual disease techniques.[72-74] The degree of tumor volume reduction predicts response in high-risk patients, as does a decrease in mitosis and an increase in histologic differentiation.[75,76] Similarly, the persistence of mIBG-avid tumor after completion of induction therapy predicts a poor prognosis.[77]

Biological features

A number of biologic variables have been studied in children with this tumor:[78]

  • Biological subtype: These biological types are not used to determine treatment at this time; however, type 1 has a very favorable prognosis, while types 2A and 2B have poor prognoses. (Refer to the Biological subtypes subsection of this summary for more information on subtypes 1, 2A, and 2B.)

  • MYCN amplification: MYCN amplification (defined as greater than 10 copies per diploid genome) is detected in 16% to 25% of tumors.[79] In stage 2, 3, 4, and 4S patients, amplification of the MYCN gene strongly predicts a poorer prognosis in both time to tumor progression and overall survival in almost all multivariate regression analyses of prognostic factors. Amplification of the MYCN gene is associated not only with deletion of chromosome 1p, but also gain of the long arm of chromosome 17 (17q), the latter of which independently predicts a poor prognosis.[80] Within the localized MYCN-amplified cohort, ploidy status may further predict outcome.[81]

    The degree of expression of the MYCN gene in the tumor does not predict prognosis.[82] However, high overall MYCN-dependent gene expression and low expression of sympathetic neuron late differentiation genes both predict a poor outcome of neuroblastomas otherwise considered to be at low or intermediate risk of recurrence.[83]

  • Segmental chromosome changes: Segmental chromosome number changes predict recurrence in infants with localized unresectable or metastatic neuroblastoma without MYCN gene amplification. Among all patients with neuroblastoma, a higher number of chromosome breakpoints correlated with advanced age at diagnosis, advanced stage of disease, higher risk of relapse, and a poorer outcome, whether or not MYCN amplification was considered.[19,21,26,84]

  • Whole chromosome changes: Whole chromosome copy number changes do not predict recurrence and are associated with hyperdiploidy.

Other biological prognostic factors that have been extensively investigated include tumor cell telomere length, telomerase activity, and telomerase ribonucleic acid;[85,86] urinary VMA, HVA, and their ratio;[87] MRP1;[88] GABAergic receptor profile;[89] dopamine; CD44 expression; TrkA gene expression; and serum neuron-specific enolase level, serum lactic dehydrogenase level, and serum ferritin level.[78] These factors are currently not in use for stratification on clinical trials.

Spontaneous Regression of Neuroblastoma

The phenomenon of spontaneous regression has been well described in infants with neuroblastoma, especially in infants with the 4S pattern of metastatic spread.[90] (Refer to the Stage Information for Neuroblastoma section of this summary for more information.)

Spontaneous regression generally occurs only in tumors with the following features:[91]

  • Near triploid number of chromosomes.
  • No MYCN amplification.
  • No loss of chromosome 1p.

Additional features associated with spontaneous regression include the lack of telomerase expression,[92,93] the expression of Ha-ras,[94] and the expression of the neurotrophin receptor TrkA, a nerve growth factor receptor.[95]

Studies have suggested that selected infants who appear to have asymptomatic, small, low-stage adrenal neuroblastoma detected by screening or during prenatal or incidental ultrasound examination, often have tumors that spontaneously regress and may be observed safely without surgical intervention or tissue diagnosis.[96-98]

Evidence (observation):

  1. In a COG study, 83 highly selected infants younger than 6 months with stage 1 small adrenal masses as defined by imaging studies were observed without biopsy. Surgical intervention was reserved for those with growth or progression of the mass or increasing concentrations of urinary catecholamine metabolites.[44]
    • Eighty-one percent were spared surgery and all were alive at 2 years of follow-up (refer to the Surgery subsection of this summary for more information).

  2. In a German clinical trial, spontaneous regression and/or lack of progression occurred in nearly one-half of 93 asymptomatic infants aged 12 months or younger with stage 1, 2, or 3 tumors without MYCN amplification.[45]
    • All were observed after biopsy and partial or no resection.

  1. Smith MA, Seibel NL, Altekruse SF, et al.: Outcomes for children and adolescents with cancer: challenges for the twenty-first century. J Clin Oncol 28 (15): 2625-34, 2010.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  2. Guidelines for the pediatric cancer center and role of such centers in diagnosis and treatment. American Academy of Pediatrics Section Statement Section on Hematology/Oncology. Pediatrics 99 (1): 139-41, 1997.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  3. Childhood cancer. In: Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, et al., eds.: SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2010. Bethesda, Md: National Cancer Institute, based on November 2012 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2013, Section 28. Also available online. Last accessed April 04, 2014. 

  4. Childhood cancer by the ICCC. In: Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, et al., eds.: SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2010. Bethesda, Md: National Cancer Institute, based on November 2012 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2013, Section 29. Also available online. Last accessed April 04, 2014. 

  5. Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, et al., eds.: SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2009 (Vintage 2009 Populations). Bethesda, Md: National Cancer Institute, 2012. Also available online. Last accessed January 17, 2014. 

  6. Gurney JG, Ross JA, Wall DA, et al.: Infant cancer in the U.S.: histology-specific incidence and trends, 1973 to 1992. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 19 (5): 428-32, 1997 Sep-Oct.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  7. London WB, Castleberry RP, Matthay KK, et al.: Evidence for an age cutoff greater than 365 days for neuroblastoma risk group stratification in the Children's Oncology Group. J Clin Oncol 23 (27): 6459-65, 2005.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  8. Henderson TO, Bhatia S, Pinto N, et al.: Racial and ethnic disparities in risk and survival in children with neuroblastoma: a Children's Oncology Group study. J Clin Oncol 29 (1): 76-82, 2011.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  9. Latorre V, Diskin SJ, Diamond MA, et al.: Replication of neuroblastoma SNP association at the BARD1 locus in African-Americans. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 21 (4): 658-63, 2012.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  10. Takeuchi LA, Hachitanda Y, Woods WG, et al.: Screening for neuroblastoma in North America. Preliminary results of a pathology review from the Quebec Project. Cancer 76 (11): 2363-71, 1995.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  11. Woods WG, Gao RN, Shuster JJ, et al.: Screening of infants and mortality due to neuroblastoma. N Engl J Med 346 (14): 1041-6, 2002.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  12. Schilling FH, Spix C, Berthold F, et al.: Neuroblastoma screening at one year of age. N Engl J Med 346 (14): 1047-53, 2002.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  13. Satgé D, Moore SW, Stiller CA, et al.: Abnormal constitutional karyotypes in patients with neuroblastoma: a report of four new cases and review of 47 others in the literature. Cancer Genet Cytogenet 147 (2): 89-98, 2003.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  14. Mosse Y, Greshock J, King A, et al.: Identification and high-resolution mapping of a constitutional 11q deletion in an infant with multifocal neuroblastoma. Lancet Oncol 4 (12): 769-71, 2003.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  15. Mossé YP, Laudenslager M, Longo L, et al.: Identification of ALK as a major familial neuroblastoma predisposition gene. Nature 455 (7215): 930-5, 2008.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  16. Mosse YP, Laudenslager M, Khazi D, et al.: Germline PHOX2B mutation in hereditary neuroblastoma. Am J Hum Genet 75 (4): 727-30, 2004.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  17. Maris JM, Matthay KK: Molecular biology of neuroblastoma. J Clin Oncol 17 (7): 2264-79, 1999.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  18. Lastowska M, Cullinane C, Variend S, et al.: Comprehensive genetic and histopathologic study reveals three types of neuroblastoma tumors. J Clin Oncol 19 (12): 3080-90, 2001.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  19. Carén H, Kryh H, Nethander M, et al.: High-risk neuroblastoma tumors with 11q-deletion display a poor prognostic, chromosome instability phenotype with later onset. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 107 (9): 4323-8, 2010.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  20. Castel V, Villamón E, Cañete A, et al.: Neuroblastoma in adolescents: genetic and clinical characterisation. Clin Transl Oncol 12 (1): 49-54, 2010.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  21. Schleiermacher G, Janoueix-Lerosey I, Ribeiro A, et al.: Accumulation of segmental alterations determines progression in neuroblastoma. J Clin Oncol 28 (19): 3122-30, 2010.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  22. George RE, Sanda T, Hanna M, et al.: Activating mutations in ALK provide a therapeutic target in neuroblastoma. Nature 455 (7215): 975-8, 2008.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  23. Maris JM, Mosse YP, Bradfield JP, et al.: Chromosome 6p22 locus associated with clinically aggressive neuroblastoma. N Engl J Med 358 (24): 2585-93, 2008.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  24. Nguyen le B, Diskin SJ, Capasso M, et al.: Phenotype restricted genome-wide association study using a gene-centric approach identifies three low-risk neuroblastoma susceptibility Loci. PLoS Genet 7 (3): e1002026, 2011.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  25. Gamazon ER, Pinto N, Konkashbaev A, et al.: Trans-population analysis of genetic mechanisms of ethnic disparities in neuroblastoma survival. J Natl Cancer Inst 105 (4): 302-9, 2013.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  26. Janoueix-Lerosey I, Schleiermacher G, Michels E, et al.: Overall genomic pattern is a predictor of outcome in neuroblastoma. J Clin Oncol 27 (7): 1026-33, 2009.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  27. Pugh TJ, Morozova O, Attiyeh EF, et al.: The genetic landscape of high-risk neuroblastoma. Nat Genet 45 (3): 279-84, 2013.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  28. Cheung NK, Zhang J, Lu C, et al.: Association of age at diagnosis and genetic mutations in patients with neuroblastoma. JAMA 307 (10): 1062-71, 2012.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  29. Citak C, Karadeniz C, Dalgic B, et al.: Intestinal lymphangiectasia as a first manifestation of neuroblastoma. Pediatr Blood Cancer 46 (1): 105-7, 2006.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  30. Bourdeaut F, de Carli E, Timsit S, et al.: VIP hypersecretion as primary or secondary syndrome in neuroblastoma: A retrospective study by the Société Française des Cancers de l'Enfant (SFCE). Pediatr Blood Cancer 52 (5): 585-90, 2009.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  31. Mahoney NR, Liu GT, Menacker SJ, et al.: Pediatric horner syndrome: etiologies and roles of imaging and urine studies to detect neuroblastoma and other responsible mass lesions. Am J Ophthalmol 142 (4): 651-9, 2006.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  32. Conte M, Parodi S, De Bernardi B, et al.: Neuroblastoma in adolescents: the Italian experience. Cancer 106 (6): 1409-17, 2006.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  33. Matthay KK, Blaes F, Hero B, et al.: Opsoclonus myoclonus syndrome in neuroblastoma a report from a workshop on the dancing eyes syndrome at the advances in neuroblastoma meeting in Genoa, Italy, 2004. Cancer Lett 228 (1-2): 275-82, 2005.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  34. Rudnick E, Khakoo Y, Antunes NL, et al.: Opsoclonus-myoclonus-ataxia syndrome in neuroblastoma: clinical outcome and antineuronal antibodies-a report from the Children's Cancer Group Study. Med Pediatr Oncol 36 (6): 612-22, 2001.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  35. Pranzatelli MR: The neurobiology of the opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome. Clin Neuropharmacol 15 (3): 186-228, 1992.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  36. Mitchell WG, Davalos-Gonzalez Y, Brumm VL, et al.: Opsoclonus-ataxia caused by childhood neuroblastoma: developmental and neurologic sequelae. Pediatrics 109 (1): 86-98, 2002.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  37. Connolly AM, Pestronk A, Mehta S, et al.: Serum autoantibodies in childhood opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome: an analysis of antigenic targets in neural tissues. J Pediatr 130 (6): 878-84, 1997.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  38. Cooper R, Khakoo Y, Matthay KK, et al.: Opsoclonus-myoclonus-ataxia syndrome in neuroblastoma: histopathologic features-a report from the Children's Cancer Group. Med Pediatr Oncol 36 (6): 623-9, 2001.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  39. Russo C, Cohn SL, Petruzzi MJ, et al.: Long-term neurologic outcome in children with opsoclonus-myoclonus associated with neuroblastoma: a report from the Pediatric Oncology Group. Med Pediatr Oncol 28 (4): 284-8, 1997.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  40. Bell J, Moran C, Blatt J: Response to rituximab in a child with neuroblastoma and opsoclonus-myoclonus. Pediatr Blood Cancer 50 (2): 370-1, 2008.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  41. Corapcioglu F, Mutlu H, Kara B, et al.: Response to rituximab and prednisolone for opsoclonus-myoclonus-ataxia syndrome in a child with ganglioneuroblastoma. Pediatr Hematol Oncol 25 (8): 756-61, 2008.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  42. Vik TA, Pfluger T, Kadota R, et al.: (123)I-mIBG scintigraphy in patients with known or suspected neuroblastoma: Results from a prospective multicenter trial. Pediatr Blood Cancer 52 (7): 784-90, 2009.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  43. Jennings RW, LaQuaglia MP, Leong K, et al.: Fetal neuroblastoma: prenatal diagnosis and natural history. J Pediatr Surg 28 (9): 1168-74, 1993.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  44. Nuchtern JG, London WB, Barnewolt CE, et al.: A prospective study of expectant observation as primary therapy for neuroblastoma in young infants: a Children's Oncology Group study. Ann Surg 256 (4): 573-80, 2012.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  45. Hero B, Simon T, Spitz R, et al.: Localized infant neuroblastomas often show spontaneous regression: results of the prospective trials NB95-S and NB97. J Clin Oncol 26 (9): 1504-10, 2008.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  46. Brodeur GM, Pritchard J, Berthold F, et al.: Revisions of the international criteria for neuroblastoma diagnosis, staging, and response to treatment. J Clin Oncol 11 (8): 1466-77, 1993.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  47. Horner MJ, Ries LA, Krapcho M, et al.: SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2006. Bethesda, Md: National Cancer Institute, 2009. Also available online. Last accessed January 29, 2014. 

  48. Adams GA, Shochat SJ, Smith EI, et al.: Thoracic neuroblastoma: a Pediatric Oncology Group study. J Pediatr Surg 28 (3): 372-7; discussion 377-8, 1993.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  49. Evans AE, Albo V, D'Angio GJ, et al.: Factors influencing survival of children with nonmetastatic neuroblastoma. Cancer 38 (2): 661-6, 1976.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  50. Hayes FA, Green A, Hustu HO, et al.: Surgicopathologic staging of neuroblastoma: prognostic significance of regional lymph node metastases. J Pediatr 102 (1): 59-62, 1983.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  51. Cotterill SJ, Pearson AD, Pritchard J, et al.: Clinical prognostic factors in 1277 patients with neuroblastoma: results of The European Neuroblastoma Study Group 'Survey' 1982-1992. Eur J Cancer 36 (7): 901-8, 2000.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  52. Gustafson WC, Matthay KK: Progress towards personalized therapeutics: biologic- and risk-directed therapy for neuroblastoma. Expert Rev Neurother 11 (10): 1411-23, 2011.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  53. Isaacs H Jr: Fetal and neonatal neuroblastoma: retrospective review of 271 cases. Fetal Pediatr Pathol 26 (4): 177-84, 2007 Jul-Aug.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  54. Kushner BH, Kramer K, LaQuaglia MP, et al.: Neuroblastoma in adolescents and adults: the Memorial Sloan-Kettering experience. Med Pediatr Oncol 41 (6): 508-15, 2003.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  55. Franks LM, Bollen A, Seeger RC, et al.: Neuroblastoma in adults and adolescents: an indolent course with poor survival. Cancer 79 (10): 2028-35, 1997.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  56. Matthay KK, Perez C, Seeger RC, et al.: Successful treatment of stage III neuroblastoma based on prospective biologic staging: a Children's Cancer Group study. J Clin Oncol 16 (4): 1256-64, 1998.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  57. Perez CA, Matthay KK, Atkinson JB, et al.: Biologic variables in the outcome of stages I and II neuroblastoma treated with surgery as primary therapy: a children's cancer group study. J Clin Oncol 18 (1): 18-26, 2000.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  58. Matthay KK, Sather HN, Seeger RC, et al.: Excellent outcome of stage II neuroblastoma is independent of residual disease and radiation therapy. J Clin Oncol 7 (2): 236-44, 1989.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  59. Castleberry RP, Kun LE, Shuster JJ, et al.: Radiotherapy improves the outlook for patients older than 1 year with Pediatric Oncology Group stage C neuroblastoma. J Clin Oncol 9 (5): 789-95, 1991.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  60. Bowman LC, Castleberry RP, Cantor A, et al.: Genetic staging of unresectable or metastatic neuroblastoma in infants: a Pediatric Oncology Group study. J Natl Cancer Inst 89 (5): 373-80, 1997.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  61. Castleberry RP, Shuster JJ, Altshuler G, et al.: Infants with neuroblastoma and regional lymph node metastases have a favorable outlook after limited postoperative chemotherapy: a Pediatric Oncology Group study. J Clin Oncol 10 (8): 1299-304, 1992.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  62. West DC, Shamberger RC, Macklis RM, et al.: Stage III neuroblastoma over 1 year of age at diagnosis: improved survival with intensive multimodality therapy including multiple alkylating agents. J Clin Oncol 11 (1): 84-90, 1993.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  63. Paul SR, Tarbell NJ, Korf B, et al.: Stage IV neuroblastoma in infants. Long-term survival. Cancer 67 (6): 1493-7, 1991.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  64. Bowman LC, Hancock ML, Santana VM, et al.: Impact of intensified therapy on clinical outcome in infants and children with neuroblastoma: the St Jude Children's Research Hospital experience, 1962 to 1988. J Clin Oncol 9 (9): 1599-608, 1991.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  65. Look AT, Hayes FA, Shuster JJ, et al.: Clinical relevance of tumor cell ploidy and N-myc gene amplification in childhood neuroblastoma: a Pediatric Oncology Group study. J Clin Oncol 9 (4): 581-91, 1991.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  66. Schmidt ML, Lukens JN, Seeger RC, et al.: Biologic factors determine prognosis in infants with stage IV neuroblastoma: A prospective Children's Cancer Group study. J Clin Oncol 18 (6): 1260-8, 2000.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  67. Schmidt ML, Lal A, Seeger RC, et al.: Favorable prognosis for patients 12 to 18 months of age with stage 4 nonamplified MYCN neuroblastoma: a Children's Cancer Group Study. J Clin Oncol 23 (27): 6474-80, 2005.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  68. George RE, London WB, Cohn SL, et al.: Hyperdiploidy plus nonamplified MYCN confers a favorable prognosis in children 12 to 18 months old with disseminated neuroblastoma: a Pediatric Oncology Group study. J Clin Oncol 23 (27): 6466-73, 2005.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  69. Hiyama E, Yokoyama T, Hiyama K, et al.: Multifocal neuroblastoma: biologic behavior and surgical aspects. Cancer 88 (8): 1955-63, 2000.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  70. Kubota M, Suita S, Tajiri T, et al.: Analysis of the prognostic factors relating to better clinical outcome in ganglioneuroblastoma. J Pediatr Surg 35 (1): 92-5, 2000.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  71. Peuchmaur M, d'Amore ES, Joshi VV, et al.: Revision of the International Neuroblastoma Pathology Classification: confirmation of favorable and unfavorable prognostic subsets in ganglioneuroblastoma, nodular. Cancer 98 (10): 2274-81, 2003.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  72. Burchill SA, Lewis IJ, Abrams KR, et al.: Circulating neuroblastoma cells detected by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction for tyrosine hydroxylase mRNA are an independent poor prognostic indicator in stage 4 neuroblastoma in children over 1 year. J Clin Oncol 19 (6): 1795-801, 2001.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  73. Seeger RC, Reynolds CP, Gallego R, et al.: Quantitative tumor cell content of bone marrow and blood as a predictor of outcome in stage IV neuroblastoma: a Children's Cancer Group Study. J Clin Oncol 18 (24): 4067-76, 2000.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  74. Bochennek K, Esser R, Lehrnbecher T, et al.: Impact of minimal residual disease detection prior to autologous stem cell transplantation for post-transplant outcome in high risk neuroblastoma. Klin Padiatr 224 (3): 139-42, 2012.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  75. Yoo SY, Kim JS, Sung KW, et al.: The degree of tumor volume reduction during the early phase of induction chemotherapy is an independent prognostic factor in patients with high-risk neuroblastoma. Cancer 119 (3): 656-64, 2013.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  76. George RE, Perez-Atayde AR, Yao X, et al.: Tumor histology during induction therapy in patients with high-risk neuroblastoma. Pediatr Blood Cancer 59 (3): 506-10, 2012.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  77. Yanik GA, Parisi MT, Shulkin BL, et al.: Semiquantitative mIBG scoring as a prognostic indicator in patients with stage 4 neuroblastoma: a report from the Children's oncology group. J Nucl Med 54 (4): 541-8, 2013.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  78. Riley RD, Heney D, Jones DR, et al.: A systematic review of molecular and biological tumor markers in neuroblastoma. Clin Cancer Res 10 (1 Pt 1): 4-12, 2004.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  79. Ambros PF, Ambros IM, Brodeur GM, et al.: International consensus for neuroblastoma molecular diagnostics: report from the International Neuroblastoma Risk Group (INRG) Biology Committee. Br J Cancer 100 (9): 1471-82, 2009.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  80. Bown N, Cotterill S, Lastowska M, et al.: Gain of chromosome arm 17q and adverse outcome in patients with neuroblastoma. N Engl J Med 340 (25): 1954-61, 1999.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  81. Bagatell R, Beck-Popovic M, London WB, et al.: Significance of MYCN amplification in international neuroblastoma staging system stage 1 and 2 neuroblastoma: a report from the International Neuroblastoma Risk Group database. J Clin Oncol 27 (3): 365-70, 2009.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  82. Cohn SL, London WB, Huang D, et al.: MYCN expression is not prognostic of adverse outcome in advanced-stage neuroblastoma with nonamplified MYCN. J Clin Oncol 18 (21): 3604-13, 2000.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  83. Fredlund E, Ringnér M, Maris JM, et al.: High Myc pathway activity and low stage of neuronal differentiation associate with poor outcome in neuroblastoma. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 105 (37): 14094-9, 2008.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  84. Schleiermacher G, Michon J, Ribeiro A, et al.: Segmental chromosomal alterations lead to a higher risk of relapse in infants with MYCN-non-amplified localised unresectable/disseminated neuroblastoma (a SIOPEN collaborative study). Br J Cancer 105 (12): 1940-8, 2011.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  85. Poremba C, Hero B, Goertz HG, et al.: Traditional and emerging molecular markers in neuroblastoma prognosis: the good, the bad and the ugly. Klin Padiatr 213 (4): 186-90, 2001 Jul-Aug.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  86. Ohali A, Avigad S, Ash S, et al.: Telomere length is a prognostic factor in neuroblastoma. Cancer 107 (6): 1391-9, 2006.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  87. Strenger V, Kerbl R, Dornbusch HJ, et al.: Diagnostic and prognostic impact of urinary catecholamines in neuroblastoma patients. Pediatr Blood Cancer 48 (5): 504-9, 2007.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  88. Haber M, Smith J, Bordow SB, et al.: Association of high-level MRP1 expression with poor clinical outcome in a large prospective study of primary neuroblastoma. J Clin Oncol 24 (10): 1546-53, 2006.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  89. Roberts SS, Mori M, Pattee P, et al.: GABAergic system gene expression predicts clinical outcome in patients with neuroblastoma. J Clin Oncol 22 (20): 4127-34, 2004.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  90. Nickerson HJ, Matthay KK, Seeger RC, et al.: Favorable biology and outcome of stage IV-S neuroblastoma with supportive care or minimal therapy: a Children's Cancer Group study. J Clin Oncol 18 (3): 477-86, 2000.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  91. Ambros PF, Brodeur GM: Concept of tumorigenesis and regression. In: Brodeur GM, Sawada T, Tsuchida Y: Neuroblastoma. New York, NY: Elsevier Science, 2000, pp 21-32. 

  92. Hiyama E, Hiyama K, Yokoyama T, et al.: Correlating telomerase activity levels with human neuroblastoma outcomes. Nat Med 1 (3): 249-55, 1995.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  93. Hiyama E, Reynolds CP: Telomerase as a biological and prognostic marker in neuroblastoma. In: Brodeur GM, Sawada T, Tsuchida Y: Neuroblastoma. New York, NY: Elsevier Science, 2000, pp 159-174. 

  94. Kitanaka C, Kato K, Ijiri R, et al.: Increased Ras expression and caspase-independent neuroblastoma cell death: possible mechanism of spontaneous neuroblastoma regression. J Natl Cancer Inst 94 (5): 358-68, 2002.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  95. Brodeur GM, Minturn JE, Ho R, et al.: Trk receptor expression and inhibition in neuroblastomas. Clin Cancer Res 15 (10): 3244-50, 2009.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  96. Yamamoto K, Ohta S, Ito E, et al.: Marginal decrease in mortality and marked increase in incidence as a result of neuroblastoma screening at 6 months of age: cohort study in seven prefectures in Japan. J Clin Oncol 20 (5): 1209-14, 2002.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  97. Okazaki T, Kohno S, Mimaya J, et al.: Neuroblastoma detected by mass screening: the Tumor Board's role in its treatment. Pediatr Surg Int 20 (1): 27-32, 2004.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  98. Fritsch P, Kerbl R, Lackner H, et al.: "Wait and see" strategy in localized neuroblastoma in infants: an option not only for cases detected by mass screening. Pediatr Blood Cancer 43 (6): 679-82, 2004.  [PUBMED Abstract]