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J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2000 May-Jun;22(3):197-205.

Natural history and biology of stage A neuroblastoma: a Pediatric Oncology Group Study.

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Department of Pediatrics, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.



To prospectively analyze the outcome of patients with Stage A neuroblastoma (NB) treated with surgery alone, especially with regard to the prognostic significance of age, tumor site, MYCN copy number, tumor cell ploidy, and histology.


The clinical course of 329 patients with Stage A disease registered on the POG NB Biology Study #9047 between February, 1990 and October, 1997 were evaluated. Age, tumor site, MYCN copy number, tumor cell ploidy, and histology were analyzed for their impact on event-free survival (EFS) and survival (S).


The 5-year estimated EFS and S rates for the 329 patients were 91% (+/-3%) and 96% (+/-2%), respectively. The EFS rate was similar for infants younger than 12 months and children age 12 months or older, but age older than 12 months was predictive of lower S rates (P = 0.044). Patients with adrenal, abdominal non-adrenal, thoracic, and cervical tumors had similar S rates. The majority of patients had tumors with favorable biologic features, and only 3% had MYCN amplification. For infants with diploid tumors, the EFS rate was 82% (+/-16%), but effective therapy yielded an S rate of 100%. Rate of S was 80% (+/-26%) and 64% (+/-27%) for patients with unfavorable tumor histology and MYCN-amplified tumors, respectively.


The outcome for patients with Stage A NB treated with surgery alone is excellent. Although EFS and S rates were significantly worse for patients with MYCN-amplified tumors, a subset achieved long-term remission after surgery alone. For patients with Stage A and MYCN amplification, additional factors are needed to distinguish the patients who will achieve long-term remission with surgery alone from those who will develop recurrent disease.

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