Medline: 7472948

Journal of Pediatric Surgery 30(7): 937-941, 1995.

Infants with metastatic neuroblastoma have improved survival with resection of the primary tumor.

DeCou JM, Bowman LC, Rao BN, et al.


Although infants (age less than 1 year) with neuroblastoma have a favorable overall prognosis, metastatic disease is associated with poorer treatment outcome. To assess the role of surgery in these patients, the authors reviewed survival data for 151 infants treated for neuroblastoma, focusing on patient and tumor characteristics, biological markers, and surgical management among the 99 patients with metastatic disease. Patients were divided into early (1961 to 1978) and contemporary (1979 to 1993) treatment eras. Potential prognostic factors were statistically tested to determine their significance in affecting survival. Five-year survival by Pediatric Oncology Group stage was: A, 100% (+/- 0%); B, 94% (+/- 6%); DS, 77% (+/- 9%); C, 73% (+/- 9%); and D, 61% (+/- 8%). Survival for infants with metastatic disease (stages C, D, and DS) was affected significantly by treatment era (P = .0001). Analyses restricted to patients treated during the contemporary era showed prognostic significance for DNA index (P = .02), N-myc copy number (P = .007), serum lactate dehydrogenase level (P = .001), and extent of resection (P = .01). A > or = 95% resection of the primary tumor was found to be associated with improved survival. Significantly more surgical complications were associated with resections performed at the time of diagnosis (P = .007), and delaying surgery until after several courses of chemotherapy did not decrease survival. In conclusion, multiple factors affect the outcome of treatment for infants with metastatic neuroblastoma, and whenever feasible, a > or = 95% resection of the primary tumor should be performed in this patient subgroup.

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