Neuroblastoma is a rare and aggressive childhood cancer that is diagnosed in under 100 children in the UK each year.
It is a solid tumour cancer that begins in the nerve tissue in the neck, chest, abdomen, or pelvis but usually originates in the abdomen in the tissue of the adrenal gland.
Nearly 70% of those children first diagnosed, have disease that has already metastasized or spread to other parts of the body. The average age at diagnosis is two years old.
Prognosis for neuroblastoma is dependent on age, stage of disease, and the molecular biologic and cytogenetic characteristics of the tumour. There is very little known about why neuroblastoma occurs, or about what factors increase the risk for occurrence.
It is possible that children may present very vague symptoms, similar to those of the more common non- serious illnesses which makes the disease very difficult to detect.
Alternative Home Treatments
Treatments Available in other Countries
A person's immune system makes antibodies to attack germs such as bacteria or viruses, but it will not attack neuroblastoma because the tumor is part of our own bodies. An antibody that attaches to neuroblastoma can be made in a laboratory and then given intravenously to a patient. This antibody will circulate in the bloodstream until it finds and attaches to a neuroblastoma cell. And then the patient's own immune system will attack and kill that neuroblastoma cell.
Stage 1: The cancer is localized (hasn't spread). It is on one side of the body. All visible tumours are totally removed by surgery. Examination of the tumour's edges under the microscope may show some cancer cells. Lymph nodes enclosed within the tumour may contain Neuroblastoma cells, but lymph nodes outside of the tumour should be free of cancer.
Stage 2A: The cancer is localized, but because of its size, location, or relationship to other organs, most but not all of the tumour can be removed by surgery. It is on one side of the body. Lymph nodes enclosed within the tumour may contain Neuroblastoma cells, but lymph nodes outside of the tumour should be free of cancer.
Stage 2B: The cancer is localized, and may or may not be able to be totally removed by surgery. It is on one side of the body. Nearby lymph nodes outside the tumour contain Neuroblastoma cells, but the cancer has not spread to lymph nodes on the other side of the body or elsewhere.
Stage 3: The cancer cannot be completely removed by surgery or it has crossed the midline (defined as the spine) to the other side of the body. It may or may not have spread to nearby lymph nodes, Or, it is on one side of the body but has spread to lymph nodes that are relatively nearby but on the other side of the body. Or, it is in the middle of the body and growing toward both sides and cannot be completely removed by surgery.
Stage 4: The cancer has spread to distant sites such as distant lymph nodes, bone, liver, skin, bone marrow, or other organs. But the child does not meet criteria for stage 4S.
Stage 4S (also called "special" Neuroblastoma): In this case, the child is younger than 1-year-old. The cancer is on one side of the body and is localized. It may have spread to lymph nodes on the same side of the body but not to nodes on the other side. The Neuroblastoma has spread to the liver, skin, and/or the bone marrow. However, no more than 10% of marrow cells may be cancerous, and imaging studies do not show bone damage.
Recurrent: The cancer has come back (recurred) after it has been treated. It may come back in the area where it first started or in another part of the body.