Medline: 7636545

The abstract Journal of Clinical Oncology 13(8): 2033-2038, 1995. is available online.

The fulltext Journal of Clinical Oncology 13(8): 2033-2038, 1995. may be available online for subscribers.

Mass screening and age-specific incidence of neuroblastoma in Saitama Prefecture, Japan.

Yamamoto K, Hayashi Y, Hanada R, et al.


To provide the population-based incidence rate of neuroblastoma and to determine the effect of mass screening on the annual age-specific incidence of the tumor in Saitama Prefecture, Japan, from 1981 to 1992.

Data on screened infants and patients detected by the screening were obtained from the records of the Prefectural Screening Center. Data on neuroblastomas in this area were obtained from the Children's Cancer Registry of the Saitama Prefectural Government (Prefectural Registry) and from the Japan Children's Cancer Registry (National Registry). Population data were obtained from the Prefectural Census. Mass screening for 6-month-old infants was performed by qualitative assessment of urinary vanillylmandelic acid (VMA) from June 1981 to September 1989 and by quantitative measurement of VMA/creatinine (Cre) and homovanillic acid (HVA)/Cre from October 1989 to December 1992.

Between 1981 and 1992, 199 cases of neuroblastoma, which include 74 cases detected by mass screening, were identified in Saitama Prefecture. The incidence rate for children under 15 years of age increased from 6.4/10(6) to 20.1/10(6), that for children 0 to 4 years of age increased from 17.0/10(6) to 64.1/10(6), and that for infants under 1 year of age increased from 27.9/10(6) to 260.4/10(6) during these 12 years. No significant reduction in the incidence rate was observed for children over 1 year of age.

The incidence rate for children under 15 years of age increased with mass screening. The rate for infants was sharply increased, with no corresponding decrease in the rate for children at older ages. These data suggest that there is a subset of neuroblastoma that can be detected by mass screening at 6 months of age but would not be diagnosed later clinically.

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