Long-term complications in survivors of advanced stage neuroblastoma


Background. Few studies have assessed late effects in neuroblastoma (NB) survivors, particularly those with advanced stage disease. Methods. Retrospective analysis of a cohort of advanced stage NB survivors followed in a late effect clinic at a single institution. Screening tests to detect late effects were tailored depending on the individual's treatment exposures. Results. The study included 63 survivors (31 males). The median age at diagnosis was 3.0 years. The median follow-up from diagnosis was 7.06 years. All patients had surgery and received chemotherapy, 89% received radiation therapy (RT), 62% immunotherapy, and 56% autologous stem cell transplant. Late complications were detected in 95% of survivors and included: hearing loss (62%), primary hypothyroidism (24%), ovarian failure (41 % of females), musculoskeletal (19%), and pulmonary (19%) abnormalities. The majority of complications were moderate, with only 4% being life-threatening. Survivors who received cisplatin were at greater risk to develop hearing loss compared to those not so treated (OR 9.74; 95% CI: 0.9-101.6). A total dose of cyclophosphamide greater than 7.4 g was associated with ovarian failure (P = 0.02). Conclusions. Late complications occur frequently in survivors of advanced stage NB. The majority of these problems are of mild-moderate severity. Long-term follow-up (LFTU) and screening of this population is essential. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Publication Title

Pediatric Blood and Cancer