health care  
All about neuroblastoma causes of neuroblastoma symptoms of neuroblastoma diagnosis of neuroblastoma treatments for neuroblastoma

What causes neuroblastoma?

The causes of neuroblastoma are not precisely known. Current research holds that neuroblastomas develop when cells produced by the fetus (neuroblast cells) fail to mature into normal nerve or adrenal cells and keep growing and proliferating. Most neuroblastoma cells have genetic abnormalities involving chromosome #1, where a deletion or rearrangement is

found on the short arm of this chromosome. The chromosome abnormality, in turn, causes amplification of an oncogene called n-myc, even though this gene is not located on chromosome #1. The amplification of n-myc causes uncontrolled cell growth. A variety of other chromosome abnormalities may also be present in neuroblastoma.

It is estimated that as many as 20 percent of neuroblastoma cases result from an inherited mutation, followed by a second mutation occurring after birth, which together initiate uncontrolled cell growth. The remainder of the cases occur from two acquired mutations after birth. Because the tumor occurs very early in childhood, it is doubtful that any environmental exposures the child has incurred could be linked to the development of the tumor.

Neuroblastoma is more common in children born with fetal hydantoin syndrome, neurofibromatosis, and Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. The exact relationship between these conditions and the disease are not known. The chance for neuroblastoma to be present in a future sibling of the patient is about 1 percent. If more than one child has neuroblastoma, the chance for reoccurrence increases. Research is being conducted to determine if maternal exposure to any toxic substances, environmental pollutions, or radiation during pregnancy could have any link to the child developing neuroblastoma.

More information on neuroblastoma

What is neuroblastoma? - Neuroblastoma is a malignant tumor derived from primitive neural crest cells. Neuroblastoma is a very common tumor of childhood.
What causes neuroblastoma? - The causes of neuroblastoma are not precisely known. Most neuroblastoma cells have genetic abnormalities involving chromosome #1.
What are the symptoms of neuroblastoma? - The symptoms of neuroblastoma vary because the location of the tumor determines the symptoms that are noticed by the parents.
How is neuroblastoma diagnosed? - A staging system has been developed for neuroblastoma to help the physician determine the best treatment for the disease.
What're treatments for neuroblastoma? - Surgery is used whenever possible, to remove as much of neuroblastoma as possible, and can generally cure the disease if the cancer. 
Endocrine disorders Mainpage

Topics in endocrine disorders

Adrenal insufficiency
Addison's disease
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
Conn's syndrome
Cushing's syndrome
Nelson's syndrome
Bartter's syndrome
Adrenocortical carcinoma
Pituitary gland disorders
Thyroid gland disorders

All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005