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Neuroblastoma Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - General Information


Spontaneous regression of neuroblastoma

This phenomenon has been well described in infants, especially in those with the 4S pattern of metastatic spread.[68] (Refer to the Stage Information section of this summary for more information.) In a German clinical trial, spontaneous regression and/or lack of progression occurred in nearly half of 93 asymptomatic infants aged 12 months or younger with stage 1, 2, or 3 tumors without MYCN amplification; all were observed after partial or no resection.[69] Regression generally occurs only in tumors with a near triploid number of chromosomes, no MYCN amplification, and no loss of chromosome 1p. Additional features associated with spontaneous regression [70,71] include the lack of telomerase expression,[72,73] the expression of Ha-ras,[74] and the expression of the neurotrophin receptor TrkA, a nerve growth factor receptor.

Studies have suggested that selected infants who appear to have asymptomatic, small, low-stage adrenal neuroblastoma detected by screening or during prenatal or incidental ultrasound examination, often have tumors that spontaneously regress and may be observed safely without surgical intervention or tissue diagnosis.[75,76,77]


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