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Neonatal neuroblastoma

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jonathan Fisher, Professor Deborah Tweddle


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Neuroblastoma, an embryonal tumour arising from the sympathetic nervous system, is the most common neonatal malignancy accounting for >20% of neonatal cancers. It may present as an antenatal adrenal mass or more commonly with localised or metastatic (4s/Ms) disease, which is usually low risk with a very good clinical outcome. Around 20% of neonatal neuroblastoma presents with spinal cord compression requiring prompt diagnosis and treatment with steroids and chemotherapy to relieve the cord compression. Patients with stage Ms disease without life- or organ-threatening symptoms or adverse genetic features (MYCN amplification or segmental chromosomal abnormalities) can be safely observed for spontaneous regression which may also occur with other localised neonatal neuroblastomas. Universal mass screening for neuroblastoma is not indicated but targeted screening of infants at risk of hereditary neuroblastoma with germline ALK or PHOX2B mutations is appropriate. Future studies will be aimed at observing more patients without adverse genetics or life-threatening features. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Fisher JPH, Tweddle DA

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Seminars in Fetal & Neonatal Medicine

Year: 2012

Volume: 17

Issue: 4

Pages: 207-215

Print publication date: 04/06/2012

ISSN (print): 1744-165X

ISSN (electronic): 1878-0946

Publisher: W.B. Saunders Co. Ltd.


DOI: 10.1016/j.siny.2012.05.002