Pharmacologic Management of High-Risk Neuroblastoma in Children
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Ganeshan, V.R. & Schor, N.F. Pediatr-Drugs (2011) 13: 245. doi:10.2165/11591630-000000000-00000
Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial solid tumor of childhood. It accounts for 15% of pediatric cancer deaths. Children with high-risk disease have a 3-year event-free survival rate of only 20%. Chemotherapy is the mainstay of treatment in children with advanced neuroblastoma.
The aim of this article was to review and critically evaluate the pharmacotherapy of neuroblastoma, using peer reviewed and review literature from 2000–11. All peer reviewed, published human subject studies of therapy for neuroblastoma in children were included. Animal model and in vitro studies were included only if they added to the understanding of the mechanism of a proposed or existing human neuroblastoma therapy.
Current therapeutic options for neuroblastoma involve insufficient differentiation of normal from neoplastic tissue. Critically needed new approaches will increasingly exploit targeting of therapy for unique characteristics of the neuroblastoma cell. Pharmacotherapy for neuroblastoma still suffers from an inadequate therapeutic window. Enhancement of toxicity for tumor and safety for normal tissues will entail innovation in targeting neuroblastoma cells and rescuing or protecting normal tissue elements.