Medline: 11181668

The abstract Journal of Clinical Oncology 19(4): 1047-1055, 2001. is available online.

The fulltext Journal of Clinical Oncology 19(4): 1047-1055, 2001. may be available online for subscribers.

Treatment and outcome of 83 children with intraspinal neuroblastoma: the Pediatric Oncology Group experience.

Katzenstein HM, Kent PM, London WB, et al.


To investigate whether the rate of neurologic recovery or the incidence of long-term sequelae differed for children with neuroblastoma (NB) initially treated with chemotherapy versus surgical decompression with laminectomy, we reviewed the Pediatric Oncology Group (POG) experience.

Patients and Methods:
A retrospective review of children diagnosed with intraspinal NB registered on POG NB Biology Protocol 9047 was performed. Survival, neurologic outcome, and orthopedic sequelae were evaluated according to age of the patient at diagnosis, stage of disease, duration and severity of neurologic symptoms, and therapeutic intervention.

Between May 1990 and January 1998, 83 children with intraspinal NB were entered onto the study. Five-year survival for this cohort of patients was 71% +/- 9%. Forty-three (52%) of the patients had neurologic symptoms at diagnosis. After treatment, six of 15 severely affected patients, who presented with paralysis, completely recovered neurologic function. Two of five patients with moderate deficits, consisting of paresis and bowel/bladder dysfunction, completely recovered neurologic function. Seventeen of 22 assessable children, who had mild symptoms comprised of paresis alone, fully recovered. Seven of 24 assessable patients who had undergone laminectomy developed scoliosis, whereas spinal deformities were only detected in one of 49 assessable patients managed without laminectomy (P =.001).

The frequency of complete neurologic recovery in children with intraspinal NB inversely correlated with the severity of the presenting neurologic deficits. The rate of neurologic recovery was similar for patients treated with chemotherapy compared to those managed with laminectomy. Fewer orthopedic sequelae were observed in the children managed with chemotherapy than were seen in children managed with laminectomy.

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