Neuroblastoma in older children, adolescents and young adults: A report from the International Neuroblastoma Risk Group project

Authors


  • Conflict of interest: Nothing to declare.
  • Author Contributions: Conception and design: Yaël P. Mossé, Rebecca J. Deyell, Wendy B. London, Katherine K. Matthay. Provision of study materials or patients: Yaël P. Mossé, Rebecca J. Deyell, Yang Zhang, Peter F. Ambros, Tom Monclair, Susan L. Cohn, Andrew D. Pearson, Wendy B. London, and Katherine K. Matthay. Collection and assembly of data: Yaël P. Mossé, Rebecca J. Deyell, Yang Zhang, Peter F. Ambros, Tom Monclair, Susan L. Cohn, Andrew D. Pearson, Wendy B. London, and Katherine K. Matthay. Data analysis and interpretation: Yaël P. Mossé, Rebecca J. Deyell, Wendy B. London, Katherine K. Matthay. Manuscript writing: Yaël P. Mossé, Rebecca J. Deyell, Wendy B. London, Katherine K. Matthay. Final approval of manuscript: Yaël P. Mossé, Rebecca J. Deyell, Yang Zhang, Peter F. Ambros, Tom Monclair, Susan L. Cohn, Andrew D. Pearson, Wendy B. London, and Katherine K. Matthay.
  • Yaël P. Mossé and Rebecca J. Deyell contributed equally to this study.

Abstract

Background

Neuroblastoma in older children and adolescents has a distinctive, indolent phenotype, but little is known about the clinical and biological characteristics that distinguish this rare subgroup. Our goal was to determine if an optimal age cut-off exists that defines indolent disease and if accepted prognostic factors and treatment approaches are applicable to older children.

Procedure

Using data from the International Neuroblastoma Risk Group, among patients ≥18 months old (n = 4,027), monthly age cut-offs were tested to determine the effect of age on survival. The prognostic effect of baseline characteristics and autologous hematopoietic cell transplant (AHCT) for advanced disease was assessed within two age cohorts; ≥5 to <10 years (n = 730) and ≥10 years (n = 200).

Results

Older age was prognostic of poor survival, with outcome gradually worsening with increasing age at diagnosis, without statistical evidence for an optimal age cut-off beyond 18 months. Among patients ≥5 years, factors significantly prognostic of lower event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) in multivariable analyses were INSS stage 4, MYCN amplification and unfavorable INPC histology classification. Among stage 4 patients, AHCT provided a significant EFS and OS benefit. Following relapse, patients in both older cohorts had prolonged OS compared to those ≥18 months to <5 years (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions

Despite indolent disease and infrequent MYCN amplification, older children with advanced disease have poor survival, without evidence for a specific age cut-off. Our data suggest that AHCT may provide a survival benefit in older children with advanced disease. Novel therapeutic approaches are required to more effectively treat these patients. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2014;61:627–635. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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