Localized resectable neuroblastoma: Results of the second study of the Italian Cooperative Group for Neuroblastoma

B. De Bernardi, M. Conte, A. Mancini, A. Donfrancesco, P. Alvisi, P. Toma, F. Casale, L. Cordero di Montezemolo, P. E. Cornelli, M. Carli, G. P. Tonini, A. Pession, W. Giaretti, A. Garaventa, N. Marchese, P. Magillo, M. Nigro, Z. Kotitsa, P. Tamaro

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Purpose: To optimize treatment for children with localized resectable neuroblastoma in 21 Italian institutions using a common protocol based on previous experience. Patients and Methods: Between January 1985 and December 1992, 152 children aged 0 to 15 years with nondisseminated neuroblastoma were entered onto this study following complete resection of tumor without tumor rupture (TR) (stage 1), or resection with minimal tumor residue, and/or tumor infiltration of regional lymph nodes (LN+), and/or TR (stage 2). Of 144 assessable children, 69 were classified as having stage 1 disease and 75 as stage 2. Of stage 2 children, 49 had low-risk (LR) characteristics (age, 0 to 11 months or 1 to 15 years but negative lymph nodes and no TR). Stage 1 and stage 2 LR children did not receive adjuvant therapy. The remaining 26 stage 2 children had high-risk (HR) characteristics (age, 1 to 15 years with LN+ and/or TR) and received adjuvant chemotherapy for 6 months. Results: Of 144 children, three died of therapy-related complications and 19 relapsed, of whom six died of disease. The estimated 5-year overall survival (OS) rate was 93% and the event-free survival (EFS) rate was 83%. Of 69 stage 1 children, one died postoperatively and five relapsed (one local and four disseminated, two of whom died), for 94% OS and 90% EFS rates. Of 49 stage 2 LR children, six relapsed (four local and two disseminated); relapses occurred in five of 20 infants with LN+, in one of four infants with TR, and in none of the remaining 25 children. One child died of disease and one of toxicity, for 96% OS and 85% EFS rates. Of 26 stage 2 HR children, eight relapsed (three of 20 with LN+, three of four with TR, and two of two with LN+ and TR), of whom three died of disease and one of toxicity, for 87% OS and 61% EFS rates. Conclusion: Our data confirm the overall good prognosis of children with localized resectable neuroblastoma. LN+ and TR predisposed to relapse at all ages, but infants tended to have a less aggressive course after relapse. Stage 1 and 2 LR children had 94% and 96% OS rates, respectively, which justifies a policy of no adjuvant chemotherapy. Eight of 26 children with stage 2 HR relapsed despite 6 months of chemotherapy; for these children, more intensive chemotherapy may be required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)884-893
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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