Neuroblastoma Cancer - Stages and Types of Neuroblastoma Cancer

Neuroblastoma, a nerve cancer, primarily affects young children. The tumor originates from the immature nerve cells. It is one of the most common extracranial solid tumors seen in pediatric patients. Oncologists should determine the type of neuroblastoma for treatment optimization and prognosis prediction.

What is Neuroblastoma Cancer?

Neuroblastoma cancer occurs in immature nerve cells that are commonly found in a fetus or embryo. These immature nerve cells are known as neuroblasts and are involved in nervous system development. Neuroblastoma cancer occurs most often in young children and infants (≤5 years of age). This cancer most frequently affects the adrenal glands (glands above the kidneys). The other sites for neuroblastoma development include the abdomen, neck, chest, and spinal cord. The symptoms range from a benign, palpable mass to serious complications due to the spread of the tumor.

How Common is Neuroblastoma?

Neuroblastoma cancer constitutes about 8 - 12% of all childhood cancer cases. The rate of neuroblastoma incidence is about 11 to 13 per million in children <15 years of age. The incidence rate varies according to age. It is 1 per million in children between 10 and 14 years of age and 65 per million in children below the age of 1 year.

What are the Different Types of Neuroblastoma Cancer?

Some of the common types of neuroblastoma cancer are:

What are the Stages of Neuroblastoma?

Following are the different neuroblastoma stages:


Neuroblastoma is a cancer that originates from immature nerve cells. It is one of the most common childhood cancers and occurs often in children less than five years old. There are several methods to determine types of neuroblastoma cancer. One classification is based on the spread of the disease. These include localized, regional, and metastatic neuroblastomas. The other classification is based on histopathological characteristics and sequential chromosome aberrations. The stages of neuroblastoma range from stage 1 to stage 4.

Frequently Asked Questions

The most common site for neuroblastoma is the adrenal glands. The other sites for neuroblastoma development include the neck, chest, spine, and some areas of the abdomen.

Some types of neuroblastoma cancer are relatively more aggressive than others. This includes neuroblastoma tumor cells with specific chromosomal aberrations like loss of chromosome 1p and gain of chromosome 17q.

The rate of growth of neuroblastoma depends on the type of neuroblastoma. Some forms of neuroblastoma have spontaneous regression and require no treatment. The other forms of neuroblastoma are divided based on the speed of progression. These include high-risk, intermediate-risk, and low-risk.

Although stage 4 neuroblastoma has a poor prognosis, the mortality rate depends upon several factors, such as the age of the patients, overall health, and response to treatment. It has been estimated that almost 50% of the patients with stage 4 neuroblastoma may survive.

The survival rate of patients with neuroblastoma depends upon various factors, such as the stage of the disease, the characteristics of the tumor, the overall health, the age of the patient, and the response to treatment. The estimated 5-year survival rate of patients with intermediate-risk neuroblastoma is about 90 to 95%.