Send to

Choose Destination
Cancer Treat Rev. 2010 Jun;36(4):307-17. doi: 10.1016/j.ctrv.2010.02.006. Epub 2010 Mar 12.

Neuroblastoma: Therapeutic strategies for a clinical enigma.

Author information

Department of Pediatrics, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10065, United States. <>


Neuroblastoma, the most common extracranial pediatric solid tumor remains a clinical enigma with outcomes ranging from cure in >90% of patients with locoregional tumors with little to no cytotoxic therapy, to <30% for those >18months of age at diagnosis with metastatic disease despite aggressive multimodality therapy. Age, stage and amplification of the MYCN oncogene are the most validated prognostic markers. Recent research has shed light on the biology of neuroblastoma allowing more accurate stratification of patients which has permitted reducing or withholding cytotoxic therapy without affecting outcome for low-risk patients. However, for children with high-risk disease, the development of newer therapeutic strategies is necessary. Current surgery and radiotherapy techniques in conjunction with induction chemotherapy have greatly reduced the risk of local relapse. However, refractory or recurrent osteomedullary disease occurs in most patients with high-risk neuroblastoma. Toxicity limits for high-dose chemotherapy appear to have been reached without further clinical benefit. Neuroblastoma is the first pediatric cancer for which monoclonal-antibody-based immunotherapy has been shown to be effective, particularly for metastatic osteomedullary disease. Radioimmunotherapy appears to be a critical component of a recent, successful regimen for treating patients who relapse in the central nervous system, a possible sanctuary site. Efforts are under way to refine and enhance antibody-based immunotherapy and to determine its optimal use. The identification of newer tumor targets and the harnessing of cell-mediated immunotherapy may generate novel therapeutic approaches. It is likely that a combination of therapeutic modalities will be required to improve survival and cure rates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center