Neuroblastoma is an embryonal extracranial solid tumor originating from undifferentiated neural crest cell and it is the most common among children. Neuroblastoma is highly heterogeneous, and on these bases different outcomes are observed across the subtypes. Its clinical impact (~13% of all pediatric cancer mortality) has made this aggressive malignancy the focus of a considerable translational research effort. New insights into tumor biology are leading to the development of novel therapeutic approaches, which include small-molecule inhibitors as well as epigenetic approaches, noncoding-RNA, and cell-based immunologic therapies. Recently, chromatin immunoprecipitation with high-throughput sequencing and RNA-sequencing studies have demonstrated that epigenetic changes contribute to the aggressive pathophysiology of pediatric neuroblastoma disease. Epigenetic abnormalities are feature of human cancer cells and the epigenetic alterations may be the key toward tumorigenesis. In particular, the increase of deacetylation has been involved in epigenetically mediated tumor-suppressor gene silencing. In addition, several studies evaluated the 5-methylcytosine (5 mC) distribution patterns, which distinguish cancer cells from normal cells, and how CpG methylation contributes to the oncogenic phenotype.
Part of the book: Neuroblastoma