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J Pediatr Surg. 2004 Jun;39(6):931-6.

Efficacy of complete resection for high-risk neuroblastoma: a Children's Cancer Group study.



Previous reports indicate that complete resection of high-risk neuroblastoma improves outcome but may entail high surgical complication rates. The authors evaluated the effect of complete primary site resection on event-free survival (EFS), overall survival (OS), and complication rates in patients entered on a high-risk neuroblastoma treatment protocol.


A total of 539 eligible patients with high-risk neuroblastoma were entered on protocol CCG-3891. Patients were assigned randomly to continuation chemotherapy or autologous bone marrow transplantation. Surgical resection was performed at diagnosis or after induction chemotherapy. Surgeons assessed resection as complete (CR), minimal residual (<5%, MR), or partial (PR). Incomplete resections received secondary resection or 10 Gy of external beam radiation. Patients were evaluated for EFS, OS, and complications of surgery based on completeness of overall best resection.


The proportion of patients resectable at diagnosis was 27% for CR and 14% for MR. This improved after chemotherapy to 45% and 25%. Complication rates based on completeness of resection were 29%, 38%, and 36% for CR, MR, and PR, respectively. Estimated 5-year EFS rate was 30% +/- 3% for patients who achieved CR (n = 210) compared with 25% +/- 3% (P =.1010) for those with less than CR (n = 258).


Resectability improved after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Complete resection did not increase complications. There was a small survival benefit for complete resection. This study suggests that complete resection may still be important in the current era of intense chemotherapy and transplant.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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