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Cancer Lett. 2003 Jul 18;197(1-2):19-28.

Children may not benefit from neuroblastoma screening at 1 year of age. Updated results of the population based controlled trial in Germany.

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  • 1Klinikum Stuttgart, Olgahospital, Child and Adolescent Health, D-70176 Stuttgart, Germany.


Neuroblastoma is the second most frequent malignancy in childhood. We investigated whether screening for neuroblastoma at 1 year of age reduces the incidence of metastatic disease or mortality. Screening was offered in 6 of the 16 German states from 1995 to 2000 with the remaining states serving as controls. We studied 2,581,188 children in the screening area born between 1994 and 1999 and 2,117,600 in the control area. We compared mortality from neuroblastoma and the incidence of disseminated disease in the two groups. The screened group and the control group had similar rates of stage 4 neuroblastoma and mortality due to neuroblastoma. Comparison of the screened group and the control area revealed substantial over diagnosis in the screened participants. The present findings provide no support for mass screening for neuroblastoma at 1 year of age.

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