Recent genomic and biological studies of neuroblastoma have shed light on the dramatic heterogeneity in the clinical behaviour of this disease, which spans from spontaneous regression or differentiation in some patients, to relentless disease progression in others, despite intensive multimodality therapy. This evidence also suggests several possible mechanisms to explain the phenomena of spontaneous regression in neuroblastomas, including neurotrophin deprivation, humoral or cellular immunity, loss of telomerase activity and alterations in epigenetic regulation. A better understanding of the mechanisms of spontaneous regression might help to identify optimal therapeutic approaches for patients with these tumours. Currently, the most druggable mechanism is the delayed activation of developmentally programmed cell death regulated by the tropomyosin receptor kinase A pathway. Indeed, targeted therapy aimed at inhibiting neurotrophin receptors might be used in lieu of conventional chemotherapy or radiation in infants with biologically favourable tumours that require treatment. Alternative approaches consist of breaking immune tolerance to tumour antigens or activating neurotrophin receptor pathways to induce neuronal differentiation. These approaches are likely to be most effective against biologically favourable tumours, but they might also provide insights into treatment of biologically unfavourable tumours. We describe the different mechanisms of spontaneous neuroblastoma regression and the consequent therapeutic approaches.