Neonatal cancer is rare and comprises a heterogeneous group of neoplasms with substantial histological diversity. Almost all types of paediatric cancer can occur in fetuses and neonates; however, the presentation and behaviour of neonatal tumours often differs from that in older children, leading to differences in diagnosis and management. The causes of neonatal cancer are unclear, but genetic factors probably have a key role. Other congenital abnormalities are frequently present. Teratoma and neuroblastoma are the most common histological types of neonatal cancer, with soft-tissue sarcoma, leukaemia, renal tumours, and brain tumours also among the more frequent types. Prenatal detection, most often on routine ultrasound or in the context of a known predisposition syndrome, is becoming more common. Treatment options pose challenges because of the particular vulnerability of the population. Neonatal cancer raises diagnostic, therapeutic, and ethical issues, and management requires a multidisciplinary approach.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.