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J Clin Oncol. 1992 Feb;10(2):323-9.

A population-based study of neuroblastoma incidence, survival, and mortality in North America.

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Department of Pediatrics, McGill University, Montreal Children's Hospital, Quebec, Canada.

Erratum in

  • J Clin Oncol 1992 Jul;10(7):1202.



The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to provide a population-based estimate of neuroblastoma incidence, disease stage and age distribution, and survival and mortality rates in North America; and (2) to compare these figures in the province of Quebec at a time shortly before the institution of province-wide screening with those in a population-based control group, the Greater Delaware Valley (GDV) Pediatric Tumor Registry.


In Quebec, the four major pediatric teaching hospital records were searched for children with a diagnosis of neuroblastoma. Tumor board registry data and information supplied to the Division of Vital Statistics were also reviewed. Birth statistics were obtained from the population registry. The GDV Pediatric Tumor Registry is a population-based registry of pediatric cancer covering all of Delaware and parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Age, stage of disease, and follow-up data were obtained through December 31, 1989, with Evans neuroblastoma staging data used for all comparisons.


One hundred thirty children with neuroblastoma were identified in Quebec and 165 in the GDV, in a combined population of 3,178,736 children. The annual incidence of neuroblastoma was 10.95/10(6) under the age of 15 years and 27.75/10(6) between the ages of 0 and 4 years. The annual mortality rate due to neuroblastoma was 4.89/10(6) and 9.10/10(6) for the age groups 0 to 14 and 0 to 4, respectively. The overall 10-year survival rate for the 295 cases of neuroblastoma was 55%. The 10-year survival rates for patients with Evans stage I-IV and IVS disease were 88%, 90%, 63%, 21%, and 81%. There was no significant difference observed in the incidence, mortality, or survival in the two populations.


These data represent the first large, population-based description of the clinical presentation and outcome of patients with neuroblastoma in North America, with no significant differences noted between Quebec patients and the GDV patients.

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