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

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Any child initially categorized as low risk who is older than 1 year at the time of metastatic recurrent or progressive disease and whose recurrence is not in the stage 4S pattern usually has a poor prognosis.

  1. Treatment may consist of an aggressive regimen of combination chemotherapy.

Recurrent Neuroblastoma in Patients Initially Classified as Intermediate Risk

The standard treatment options for locoregional and metastatic recurrence in patients with intermediate-risk neuroblastoma are derived from the results of the COG-A3961 trial. Among 479 patients with intermediate-risk neuroblastoma treated on the COG-A3961 clinical trial, 42 patients developed disease progression. The rate was 10% of those with favorable biology and 17% of those with unfavorable biology. Thirty patients had locoregional recurrence, 11 had metastatic recurrence, and one had both types of recurrent disease. Six of the 42 patients died of disease, while 36 patients were salvaged. Thus, most patients with intermediate-risk neuroblastoma and disease progression may be salvaged.[8]

Locoregional recurrence

Standard treatment options for locoregional recurrent neuroblastoma initially classified as intermediate risk include the following:

  1. Surgery (complete resection).
  2. Surgery (incomplete resection) followed by chemotherapy.

The current standard of care is based on the experience from the COG Intermediate-Risk treatment plan (COG-A3961). Locoregional recurrence of neuroblastoma with favorable biology that occurs more than 3 months after completion of chemotherapy may be treated surgically. If resection is less than near total, then additional chemotherapy may be given. Chemotherapy may consist of moderate doses of carboplatin, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and etoposide. The cumulative dose of each agent is kept low to minimize permanent injury from the chemotherapy regimen, as used in a prior COG trial (COG-A3961).

Metastatic recurrence

Standard treatment options for metastatic recurrent neuroblastoma initially classified as intermediate risk include the following:

  1. High-dose chemotherapy.

If the recurrence is metastatic and/or occurs while on chemotherapy or within 3 months of completing chemotherapy and/or the original tumor histology was unfavorable, the prognosis is poor and the patient is treated with an aggressive regimen of combination chemotherapy or entered on a clinical trial.

Recurrent Neuroblastoma in Patients Initially Classified as High Risk

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