Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common extracranial childhood tumor classified in five stages (1, 2, 3, 4 and 4S), two of which (3 and 4) identify chemotherapy-resistant, highly aggressive disease. High-risk NB frequently displays MYCN amplification, mutations in ALK and ATRX, and genomic rearrangements in TERT genes. These NB subtypes are also characterized by reduced susceptibility to programmed cell death induced by chemotherapeutic drugs. The latter feature is a major cause of failure in the treatment of advanced NB patients. Thus, proper reactivation of apoptosis or of other types of programmed cell death pathways in response to treatment is relevant for the clinical management of aggressive forms of NB. In this short review, we will discuss the most relevant genomic rearrangements that define high-risk NB and the role that destabilization of p53 and p73 can have in NB aggressiveness. In addition, we will propose a strategy to stabilize p53 and p73 by using specific inhibitors of their ubiquitin-dependent degradation. Finally, we will introduce necroptosis as an alternative strategy to kill NB cells and increase tumor immunogenicity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology
- Cancer Research
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience