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Expert Rev Neurother. 2011 Oct;11(10):1411-23. doi: 10.1586/ern.11.103.

Progress towards personalized therapeutics: biologic- and risk-directed therapy for neuroblastoma.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA, USA.


Neuroblastoma, a tumor of the developing peripheral sympathetic nervous system, is the most common and deadly extracranial solid tumor of childhood. Risk-stratification and risk-adapted therapy play a large role in the modern treatment of neuroblastoma. Recently, through extensive international collaboration, new guidelines for risk stratification have emerged that will aid in international cooperative studies, as well as clarifying therapeutic options for patients. Current therapies for low- and intermediate-risk neuroblastoma have resulted in excellent prognoses for these risk strata, and current efforts are concentrated on chemotherapy reduction. By contrast, much more gradual progress has been made in improving survival for high-risk neuroblastoma patients, despite significant chemotherapy intensification. Current investigations focus on overcoming resistance by elucidating the molecular/genetic causes of neuroblastoma tumorigenesis and progression, with the aim of developing more effective biologically targeted therapies for this disease.

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