Long-term complications in survivors of advanced stage neuroblastoma

Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2005 Sep;45(3):324-32. doi: 10.1002/pbc.20331.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Combined Modality Therapy / adverse effects
  • Endocrine System Diseases / epidemiology
  • Endocrine System Diseases / etiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hearing Loss / epidemiology
  • Hearing Loss / etiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / etiology
  • Neuroblastoma / complications*
  • Neuroblastoma / therapy*
  • New York City / epidemiology
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survivors*


  • Antineoplastic Agents