REVIEW – December 2020

Neuroblastoma

Authors: Elis Maria Avvo

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Abstract

Neuroblastoma is a rare but complex disease the course of which spans from spontaneous regression in infants to an exhausting and aggressive disease in older children. The clinical expression varies greatly depending on the tumour’s characteristics and location. Some patients present with an asymptomatic disease, others struggle with unusual symptoms and vital organ complications.

The aim of diagnostics is precise stage and risk management to ensure that patients in each risk group receive the safest and most effective treatment available. Treatment of high-risk patients remains one of the greatest challenges in paediatric oncology, consisting of aggressive chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy, myeloablative stem cell transplantation, immunotherapy and isotretinoin.

Although neuroblastoma is a severe disease with a grave prognosis, the survival of these patients has greatly increased and hopefully will continue to do so as new treatment options will be found and methods improved.