Medline: 7964953

The abstract Journal of Clinical Oncology 12(11): 2378-2381, 1994. is available online.

The fulltext Journal of Clinical Oncology 12(11): 2378-2381, 1994. may be available online for subscribers.

The Pediatric Oncology Group experience with the international staging system criteria for neuroblastoma.

Castleberry RP, Shuster JJ, Smith EI, et al.


An international consensus on the criteria for surgicopathologic staging (INSS) of patients with neuroblastoma has been published, but has not been validated. A retrospective study was conducted to assess if the INSS definitions identified prognostic subsets of patients with neuroblastoma.

Patients and Methods:
The initial operative and pathology reports were reviewed from 675 patients on Pediatric Oncology Group (POG) #8104, a stage- and age-related treatment study that used the POG surgicopathologic staging system.

Of 596 eligible cases, there was concordance between the POG and INSS stages for the 193 patients with localized, resected disease (POG stage A), the 202 with distant metastases, the 51 with POG stage Ds (IVs) tumors, and 40 of the cases with grossly unresected, localized tumor without lymph node involvement (POG stage B). Of the remaining 19 patients with POG stage B tumors, five were INSS stage 2B and 14 INSS stage 3. All of the 91 cases with nonadherent, regional lymph node metastases (POG stage C) conformed to the definitions for INSS stage 2B (n = 42) or 3 (n = 49). In infants, there was no difference in event-free survival (EFS) among INSS stages 2A, 2B, or 3. In contrast, older children with INSS stage 3 disease had inferior EFS compared with INSS stage 2A or 2B tumors.

We conclude the following: (1) the INSS identifies distinct patient subsets, particularly in children; (2) infants remain a favorable group, regardless of INSS/POG stage; and (3) the INSS deserves further prospective study especially in the light of recent biologic prognostic variables.

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Dr. G. Quade