Treatment and survival of childhood neuroblastoma: Evidence from a population-based study in the United States

Diarmuid Coughlan, Matthew Gianferante, Charles F. Lynch, Jennifer L. Stevens, Linda C. Harlan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Childhood neuroblastoma describes a heterogeneous group of extracranial solid tumors, that are treated per risk profile. We sought to describe treatment patterns and survival using population-based data from throughout the United States. Materials and Methods: Using the National Cancer Institute (NCI)'s Patterns of Care data, we analyzed treatment provided to newly diagnosed, histologically confirmed neuroblastoma patients in 2010 and 2011, registered to one of 14 Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) cancer registries. Data were re-abstracted from hospital records and treating physicians contacted for verification. Application of the Children's Oncology Group (COG)'s 3-level (low, intermediate and high) neuroblastoma risk classification system for therapeutic decision-making provided insight to community-based treatment patterns. Kaplan-Meier survival analyses, based on 5-years of follow-up, were also performed. Results: 76% of the 250 patients were enrolled on an open/active clinical trial. All low-risk patients received surgery. Most intermediate-risk patients (81%) received a chemotherapy regimen that included carboplatin, etoposide, cyclophosphamide and doxorubicin. High-risk patients received extensive, multimodal treatment consisting of chemotherapy, surgery, myeloablative chemotherapy with stem cell rescue (transplant), radiation, immunotherapy (dinutuximab), and isotretinoin therapy. 21% patients had died at the end of the maximum 60-month follow-up period. The 5-year estimated survival rates were lower for patients diagnosed with stage 4 disease, unfavorable DNA ploidy, MYCN gene amplification or classified as high-risk. Conclusion: Most neuroblastoma patients are registered on a risk-based open/active clinical trial. Variation in modality, systemic agents and sequence of treatment reflects the heterogeneity of therapy received by these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-330
Number of pages11
JournalPediatric hematology and oncology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was made possible through the efforts of the Principal Investigators and the cancer registry personnel at the participating SEER registries. The authors have disclosed that they have no financial interests, arrangements, affiliations, or commercial interests with the manufacturers of any products discussed in this article or their competitors. This article was produced by employees of the US government as part of their official duties and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Cancer Institute or the National Institutes of Health. This work was supported by National Cancer Institute contracts: HHSN261201000024C; HHSN261201000025C, HHSN261201000032C, HHSN261201000027C, HHSN261201000026C, HHSN261201000140C, HHSN261201000037C, HHSN261201000033C, HHSN261201000034C, HHSN261201000035C, HHSN261201000029C, HHSN261201000031C, HHSN261201000028C, and HHSN261201000030C.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, This article not subject to US copyright law.


  • Immunotherapy
  • neuroblastoma
  • survival
  • therapeutics

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