Polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule in childhood ganglioneuroma and neuroblastoma of different histological grade and clinical stage

Langenbecks Arch Surg. 1998 Oct;383(5):340-4. doi: 10.1007/s004230050145.


Background and aims: Neuroblastoma cells express the polysialylated form of the neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM), which normally becomes restricted to a few neural regions after embryogenesis. The aim of the present study was to evaluate PSA-NCAM as a marker in childhood neuroblastoma.

Patients/methods: We studied the expression of PSA-NCAM on tumor specimens and in sera of 27 children, altogether, with ganglioneuroma and neuroblastoma of different histological grades and clinical stages. For both methods, immunohistochemistry on 5-microm frozen sections and immunoluminescence serum assay, the polysialic-acid-specific monoclonal antibody 735 was used.

Results: PSA-NCAM expression was highest in patients with undifferentiated neuroblastoma and advanced stages of disease, whereas children with differentiated tumor types and low clinical stages had distinctly reduced or no reactivity in immunohistochemistry and, simultaneously, normal serum levels. PSA-NCAM expression correlated with other prognostic and diagnostic markers, such as MYCN gene amplification, and serum concentrations decreased during successful treatment.

Conclusions: We conclude that PSA-NCAM, both immunohistochemically and in the serum, is a promising candidate for another useful diagnostic and prognostic tumor marker in childhood neuroblastoma.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Ganglioneuroma / blood
  • Ganglioneuroma / diagnosis*
  • Ganglioneuroma / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule L1*
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules / analysis
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules / blood*
  • Neuroblastoma / blood
  • Neuroblastoma / diagnosis*
  • Neuroblastoma / drug therapy
  • Peripheral Nervous System Neoplasms / blood
  • Peripheral Nervous System Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sialic Acids / analysis
  • Sialic Acids / blood*
  • Sympathetic Nervous System
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule L1
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Sialic Acids
  • polysialyl neural cell adhesion molecule