Medline: 8468649

Journal of Pediatric Surgery 28(3): 372-378, 1993.

Thoracic neuroblastoma: a Pediatric Oncology Group study.

Adams, GA, Shochat SJ, Smith EI, et al.


Ninety-six patients with thoracic neuroblastoma were studied in a prospective fashion. Median age at presentation was 0.9 years. Forty-eight percent of the patients presented with stage A disease, 20% stage B, 13% stage C, 17% stage D, and 2% stage DS. Seventy-five patients have been followed for greater than 4 years. A posterior mediastinal mass was diagnosed on incidental chest roentgenograms performed for nontumor-related symptoms in 49% of the cases. Sixteen percent of the cases presented with neurological symptoms and 14% of the patients presented with acute respiratory distress. Urinary catecholamines were elevated in 76% of the cases. Complete surgical resection was carried out in 47% of the cases, while incomplete resection or biopsy was performed in 45%. No operation was performed in 3 patients. Minor surgical complications occurred in 20% of the patients, and 3% of the patients had significant perioperative complications. One patient died as a complication of therapy. Overall actuarial survival was 88% at 4 years. This study confirms the favorable outcome in children with mediastinal neuroblastoma. The basic biology of thoracic neuroblastomas seems to differ from that of other sites in that the majority of patients present at a younger age with localized disease or regional lymph node metastases, and have an improved survival even after correcting for age and stage. While complete excision is recommended, if possible, radical surgical procedures are not indicated since an excellent prognosis is associated with combined modality therapy.

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