What are the mortality rates of pediatric neuroblastoma?

Updated: Oct 09, 2017
  • Author: Norman J Lacayo, MD; Chief Editor: Max J Coppes, MD, PhD, MBA  more...
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According to the SEER data, the overall 5-year survival rate for children with neuroblastoma has improved from 24% in 1960-1963 to 55% in 1985-1994. [5] In part, this increase in survival rate may be due to better detection of low-risk tumors in infants. The survival rate 5 years from diagnosis is approximately 83% for infants, 55% for children aged 1-5 years, and 40% for children older than 5 years. Improvements in diagnostic imaging modalities, medical and surgical management, and supportive care have contributed to the improved survival rates. [7]

Most patients with neuroblastoma present with disseminated disease, which confers a poor prognosis and is associated with a high mortality rate. Tumors in these patients usually have unfavorable pathologic and/or molecular features. The 3-year EFS for high-risk patients treated with conventional chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery is less than 20%. Differentiating agents and dose intensification of active drugs, followed by autologous bone marrow transplant, have been reported to improve the outcome for these patients, contributing to an EFS of 38%. A recent single-arm study of tandem stem cell transplantation reported a 3-year EFS of 58%, but randomized studies of this approach are ongoing. [8]

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