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Arch Pediatr. 2006 Dec;13(12):1486-94. Epub 2006 Nov 29.

[Malignant solid tumors in neonates: a study of 71 cases].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Service d'Oncologie Pédiatrique, Institut Gustave-Roussy, rue Camille-Desmoulins, 94805 Villejuif cedex, France. icher@igr.fr


Malignant neonatal tumors are rare and comprise 2% of childhood malignancies. Clinical features, histologic types, prognosis were very different from those seen in older children, facing oncologists with diagnostic, therapeutic and ethical problems.


In a retrospective study from January 1987 to January 2004, we reviewed the management of neonates treated at the Institute Gustave Roussy for a malignant solid tumor for whom symptoms started in the first month of life.


Seventy-one neonates were treated, comprising 1,2% of the overall patients treated during the same period of time. Of these 71 patients, 42 (59%) presented with neuroblastomas, 12 (17%) with mesenchymal tumors, 6(8%) with cerebral tumors and 11 with various other types of tumors. Fifty-nine patients underwent surgical resection. Thirty-eight neonates received chemotherapy, administered at a 30 to 50% reduced dose. Hematologic toxicities and infections were the main therapeutic complications. Very small doses of radiotherapy were used in only 5 children. There has been no therapy-related mortality. Twenty-two of the 57 survivors have sequelae, especially patients with intraspinal neuroblastoma. The 5 year overall survival was 79%.


Neonatal malignant solid tumors, except for cerebral tumors, have a good prognosis. The young age of patients resulted in problems of treatment tolerance. The therapeutic regimen should take into account the risk of acute iatrogenic toxicity and long term sequelae. Surgery remains the treatment of choice but chemotherapy, with dose reduction, managed by expert teams, is essential and safer in a lot of case.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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