Neuroblastoma is a type of cancer that most often affects children. Neuroblastoma occurs when immature nerve cells called neuroblasts become abnormal and multiply uncontrollably to form a tumor. Most commonly, the tumor originates in the nerve tissue of the adrenal gland located above each kidney. Other common sites for tumors to form include the nerve tissue in the abdomen, chest, neck, or pelvis. Neuroblastoma can spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body such as the bones, liver, or skin.
Neuroblastoma and other cancers occur when a buildup of genetic mutations in critical genes—those that control cell growth and division (proliferation) or maturation (differentiation)—allow cells to grow and divide uncontrollably to form a tumor. In most cases, these genetic changes are acquired during a person's lifetime and are called somatic mutations. Somatic mutations are present only in certain cells and are not inherited. When neuroblastoma is associated with somatic mutations, it is called sporadic neuroblastoma. It is thought that somatic mutations in at least two genes are required to cause sporadic neuroblastoma. Less commonly, gene mutations that increase the risk of developing cancer can be inherited from a parent. When the mutation associated with neuroblastoma is inherited, the condition is called familial neuroblastoma. Mutations in the ALK and PHOX2B genes have been shown to increase the risk of developing sporadic and familial neuroblastoma. It is likely that there are other genes involved in the formation of neuroblastoma.
Neuroblastoma is the most common cancer in infants younger than 1 year. It occurs in 1 in 100,000 children and is diagnosed in about 650 children each year in the United States.
Most people with neuroblastoma have sporadic neuroblastoma, meaning the condition arose from somatic mutations in the body's cells and was not inherited.
John Maris is a Pediatric Hematologist Oncology specialist and a Pediatrics doctor in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Maris has been practicing medicine for over 33 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Neuroblastoma. He is also highly rated in 14 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Neuroblastoma, Embryonal Tumor with Multilayered Rosettes, Gliomatosis Cerebri, and Hereditary Neuroblastoma. He is licensed to treat patients in Pennsylvania. Dr. Maris is currently accepting new patients.
Ruth Ladenstein is in Vienna, Austria. Ladenstein is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Neuroblastoma. She is also highly rated in 9 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Neuroblastoma, Embryonal Tumor with Multilayered Rosettes, Gliomatosis Cerebri, and Ewing Sarcoma.
Katherine Matthay is a Pediatrics specialist and a Hematologist in San Francisco, California. Dr. Matthay has been practicing medicine for over 49 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Neuroblastoma. She is also highly rated in 8 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Neuroblastoma, Embryonal Tumor with Multilayered Rosettes, Ganglioneuroblastoma, and Ganglioneuroma. She is licensed to treat patients in California. Dr. Matthay is currently accepting new patients.
Published Date:updated Last, March
Published By: National Institutes of Health