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J Pediatr Surg. 1991 Sep;26(9):1119-23; discussion 1123-4.

Aggressive surgery combined with intensive chemotherapy improves survival in poor-risk neuroblastoma.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Surgery, Children's Hospital, Denver, CO.


One hundred eighteen children with metastatic (Childrens Cancer Study Group [CCSG] stage IV), extensive regional (stage III), or stage II neuroblastoma with N-myc amplification received an intensive chemotherapeutic regimen of cis-platinum, etoposide, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide combined with persistent aggressive attempts at complete primary tumor resection. Fourteen patients were unevaluable and 42 left the study to be placed on bone marrow transplant protocols. The remaining 62 children were evaluated in detail. Complete excision was eventually accomplished in 39 patients (63%), 23 of whom are disease-free survivors after 8 to 47 months (median, 20 months). Twenty-three patients underwent partial excision or biopsy of their lesion and only 6 are alive without evidence of disease (P = .0011). Timing of surgery or site of tumor did not influence surgical outcome. N-myc oncogene expression could not predict which lesions would be completely resectable. Surgical complications occurred 21% of the time but the impact on the clinical course and chemotherapy administration was minimal. The ipsilateral kidney was removed with the tumor in 18 cases, 14 of which were during complete resection. Twelve of these children are disease-free survivors. With new intensive chemotherapy capable of eliciting an effective response from primary and metastatic neuroblastoma, aggressive surgical approaches for complete tumor resection are warranted and can be expected to improve patient outcome.

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