Background/purpose: In advanced-stage neuroblastoma, bulky disease and systemic dissemination can be controlled with intense surgical and medical therapies; however, recurrence rates are very high in this group indicating that residual disease is rarely eradicated. The need to detect residual disease and predict prognosis is critical to planning appropriate treatment regimens for these patients. Recently, neuroblastoma-derived secretory protein (NDSP) was identified and cloned from neuroblastoma.
Methods: Using quantitative real-time PCR, we tested NDSP messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in 45 neuroblastoma tumor samples and 5 bone marrow samples. Correlation between NDSP expression and age at diagnosis, International Neuroblastoma Staging System, MYCN amplification, and Children's Oncology Group risk stratification was analyzed using Spearman nonparametric correlation.
Results: Neuroblastoma tissue samples show much higher NDSP mRNA levels above control in 43 of 45 samples (96%); moreover, these levels correlate with the Children's Oncology Group neuroblastoma risk group assignment. We also found that bone marrow samples with known tumor infiltration had much higher NDSP mRNA levels than bone marrow from patients without metastasis.
Conclusion: From these data, we conclude that NDSP mRNA levels in neuroblastoma tumor tissue correlate with risk group assignment and may serve as a marker for metastasis in bone marrow.