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Arch Dis Child. 1982 Jun;57(6):438-42.

Stage II neuroblastoma. Adverse prognostic significance of lymph node involvement.


Thirty-three children aged between 1 month and 16 years (median 1 year, 7 months), were treated for stage II neuroblastoma with surgery, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy, alone or in combination. After 3 years 70% were living, 6 children had died from the disease, and 4 had died as a result of treatment. Patient characteristics (age, gender) and tumour characteristics primary site, presence of lymph node involvement, catecholamine excretion, histology) were reviewed in an attempt to determine prognostic features. While age under 1 year at diagnosis was, as expected, favourable in this series, the most important prognostic variable was the presence or absence of regional lymph node involvement. No patient with uninvolved nodes died of neuroblastoma and the difference in the 3-year survival rate between these patients and those with positive nodes was statistically significant. Although this study of patients treated between 1970 and 1977 provided no clear evidence that either postoperative radiotherapy or contemporary chemotherapy was of benefit, our findings suggest that subclassification of stage II patients into 'node-positive' and 'node-negative' groups will help to define those who might benefit from improved adjuvant postsurgical treatment.

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