Neuroblastic tumours

Neuroblastic tumours arise from primitive cells of the sympathetic system and include the following entities:

These entities represent a spectrum of disease from undifferentiated and aggressive (neuroblastoma) to the well differentiated and largely quiescent (ganglioneuroma). 

The less differentiated, the earlier the presentation. Thus, neuroblastomas typically occur in infants and very young children (mean age of presentation 22 months) whereas ganglioneuroblastomas and ganglioneuromas present in older children (mean age of presentation 1-10 years and 6-15 years respectively) 1

As these tumours arise from the sympathetic nervous system, it is not surprising that they arise from the neck, posterior mediastinum, adrenal gland, retroperitoneum, and pelvis 1.

Prognosis matches degree of differentiation:

  • neuroblastoma
    • stage 1, 2 or 4S: 75-90% 3 year survival
    • stage 3
      • <1 year of age: 80-90% 1 year event free survival
      • >1 year of age: 50% 3 year survival
    • stage 4
      • <1 year of age: 60-75% 1 year event free survival
      • >1 year of age: 15% 3 year survival 1
  • ganglioneuroblastoma
    • intermediate prognosis
  • ganglioneuroma
    • complete resection is curative
    • no metastatic potential
    • local recurrence reported
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Article information

rID: 8358
System: Paediatrics
Section: Gamuts
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Neuroblastic tumors
  • Neuroblastic tumour
  • Neuroblastic tumor
  • Tumours of neuroblastic origin
  • Tumors of neuroblastic origin

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Cases and figures

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    Case 1: ganglioneuroma
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    Case 2: thoracic neuroblastoma
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    Case 3: ganglioneuroblastoma
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