Background: Few studies have assessed late effects in neuroblastoma (NB) survivors, particularly those with advanced stage disease.
Methods: Retrospective analysis of a cohort of advanced stage NB survivors followed in a late effect clinic at a single institution. Screening tests to detect late effects were tailored depending on the individual's treatment exposures.
Results: The study included 63 survivors (31 males). The median age at diagnosis was 3.0 years. The median follow-up from diagnosis was 7.06 years. All patients had surgery and received chemotherapy, 89% received radiation therapy (RT), 62% immunotherapy, and 56% autologous stem cell transplant. Late complications were detected in 95% of survivors and included: hearing loss (62%), primary hypothyroidism (24%), ovarian failure (41% of females), musculoskeletal (19%), and pulmonary (19%) abnormalities. The majority of complications were moderate, with only 4% being life-threatening. Survivors who received cisplatin were at greater risk to develop hearing loss compared to those not so treated (OR 9.74; 95% CI: 0.9-101.6). A total dose of cyclophosphamide greater than 7.4 g was associated with ovarian failure (P = 0.02).
Conclusions: Late complications occur frequently in survivors of advanced stage NB. The majority of these problems are of mild-moderate severity. Long-term follow-up (LFTU) and screening of this population is essential.
(c) 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.