Medline: 11344492

Medical and Pediatric Oncology 36(6): 612-622, 2001.

Opsoclonus-myoclonus-ataxia syndrome in neuroblastoma: clinical outcome and antineuronal antibodies--a report from the Children's Cancer Group study.

Rudnick E, Khakoo Y, Antunes NL, et al.


Opsoclonus-myoclonus-ataxia (OMA) is a paraneoplastic neurologic syndrome affecting 2-3% of children with neuroblastoma. Although children with OMA and neuroblastoma may have higher survival, many experience a significant amount of late neurologic impairment, which may be immunologically mediated. The aim of this study was to compare the outcome of neuroblastoma patients with and without OMA, relating to prognostic factors, treatment, and the presence or absence of anti-neuronal antibodies. PROCEDURE: Questionnaires were mailed out requesting information on the current neurologic status of patients who submitted sera at diagnosis to the Children's Cancer Group serum bank from 1980 to 1994. Information was requested on clinical and biological patient characteristics as well as clinical aspects of the patients identified as having OMA syndrome, including presentation and treatment for OMA, late sequelae of OMA, the presence or absence of antineuronal antibodies, and survival. Sera from 16 of the OMA patients and 48 case-controls with neuroblastoma were assayed for anti-neuronal antibodies.

Of the 675 responses received, 21 patients had OMA. Ninety percent of OMA patients presented with non-metastatic disease, vs. 35% of non-OMA patients. Estimated 3-year survival for the OMA patients with nonmetastatic disease (stage I, II, III) greater than 1 year of age was 100% vs. 77% for similar non-OMA patients (P = 0.0222). At follow-up, 14/19 evaluable OMA patients displayed some form of developmental or neurologic abnormality. There was no significant correlation of late sequelae with antineuronal antibodies, age, time between OMA symptoms and diagnosis, or treatment given for tumor or OMA. There was a significant correlation of late sequelae with lower stage disease (I and II) compared to more advanced disease (III and IV).

Patients with OMA and neuroblastoma have excellent survival but a high risk of neurologic sequelae. Favorable disease stage correlates with a higher risk for development of neurologic sequelae. The role of anti-neuronal antibodies in late sequelae of OMA needs further clarification. Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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