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Limitations in the ability of NB84 to detect metastatic neuroblastoma cells in bone marrow

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Simon BomkenORCiD, Dr Katrina Wood, Dr Michael Reid, Professor Deborah Tweddle


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Background: The accurate assessment of metastases is an essential component of the staging process for children with neuroblastoma. Aims: To study the sensitivity of the immunohistochemical marker neuroblastoma 84 (NB84) for the detection of bone marrow infiltrates in children with stage 4 neuroblastoma. Methods: Primary tumour specimens, bone marrow trephine biopsy specimens and lymph node metastases, taken from children with neuroblastoma that had metastasised to bone marrow, were assessed with a panel of commonly used immunohistochemical markers for neuroblastoma. A comparison was drawn between the sensitivity of the marker NB84 for primary tumours and for bone marrow metastases. Results: NB84 immunolabelled all pre-chemotherapy and post-chemotherapy (n = 24) paired primary tumour specimens, as well as each of a further 20, unpaired, pre-chemotherapy primary tumour specimens. It also labelled all (n = 4) lymph node metastases. Immunolabelling of bone marrow trephine biopsy specimens (21/33) was less sensitive. Of 16 primary tumour specimens with a paired bone marrow trephine biopsy specimen, all immunostained positive, whereas only 62.5% of bone marrow biopsy specimens immunostained positive for NB84. The number of bone marrow biopsy specimens immunostaining for NB84 was significantly lower than the number of paired primary tumour specimens (p = 0.041). Conclusions: NB84 remains a useful marker for the diagnosis of neuroblastoma in primary tumour specimens, but not for neuroblastoma that has metastasised to bone marrow.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bomken, S.N., Redfern, K., Wood, K, Reid, M.M., Tweddle, D.A.

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Clinical Pathology

Year: 2006

Volume: 59

Issue: 9

Pages: 927-929

Print publication date: 01/09/2006

ISSN (print): 0021-9746

ISSN (electronic): 1472-4146


DOI: 10.1136/jcp.2005.035444

PubMed id: 16565222


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