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Cancer. 1992 Sep 15;70(6):1625-33.

Disseminated neuroblastoma (stage IV and IV-S) in the first year of life. Outcome related to age and stage. Italian Cooperative Group on Neuroblastoma.

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  • 1Department of Hematology-Oncology, Giannina Gaslini Children's Hospital, Genova, Italy.



Infants (age 0-11 months) with disseminated neuroblastoma are known to have a better prognosis than older children with the disease, but there is little information regarding factors that influence the outcome of the disease in these patients.


The authors report a series of 110 infants with disseminated neuroblastoma with disease diagnosed between March 1976 and February 1991 in 21 institutions participating in the Italian Cooperative Group on Neuroblastoma (ICGNB). Of the 110 infants, 34 had Stage IV disease, and 76 had Stage IV-S disease.


The 5-year survival probability was 77% for all patients, 71% for those with Stage IV disease, and 81% for those with Stage IV-S disease. Of the 34 infants with Stage IV disease, the 9 who were 5 months or younger at the time of disease diagnosis are all alive (1 with active disease) at 7-143 months after diagnosis, whereas of the 25 infants who were 6-11 months of age at the time of disease diagnosis, 10 have died. Of the 76 infants with Stage IV-S disease, 12/64 who were 5 months of age or younger at the time of disease diagnosis died (mostly of massive hepatomegaly); 9 of these deaths occurred in infants with disease diagnosed before they were 2 months old, whereas 1 death occurred in the 12 infants with disease diagnosed when they were 6-11 months old. Four infants with Stage IV-S disease achieved complete disease remission and subsequently had relapse of disease. High levels of serum LDH and low urinary excretion of vanillylmandelic acid were associated with worse prognosis.


The authors suggest that infants older than 6 months of age who have Stage IV disease require aggressive therapy. For infants with disease diagnosed before they are 2 months old, Stage IV-S disease may have a worse prognosis than Stage IV disease.

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