Of mice and men: olfactory neuroblastoma among animals and humans

Vet Comp Oncol. 2016 Sep;14(3):e70-82. doi: 10.1111/vco.12102. Epub 2014 Jul 12.


Olfactory neuroblastoma (ONB) is a rare tumour of nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses that arises from the olfactory neuroepithelium and has unpredictable clinical course. As the sense of smell is phylogenetically one of the first senses and olfactory neuroepithelium is evolutionary conserved with striking similarities among different species, we performed an extensive analysis of the literature in order to evaluate the similarities and differences between animals and humans on the clinical, morphological, immunohistochemical, ultrastructural and molecular level. Our analysis revealed that ONB was reported mainly in mammals and showed striking similarities to human ONB. These observations provide rationale for introduction of therapy modalities used in humans into the veterinary medicine. Animal models of neuroblastoma should be considered for the preclinical studies evaluating novel therapies for ONB.

Keywords: cat; dog; domestic animals; olfactory epithelium; olfactory neuroblastoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Esthesioneuroblastoma, Olfactory / pathology
  • Esthesioneuroblastoma, Olfactory / veterinary*
  • Humans
  • Nasal Cavity / pathology*
  • Nose Neoplasms / pathology
  • Nose Neoplasms / veterinary*