Neuroblastoma is considered as the most common extracranial solid tumor occurring during childhood, but takes place rarely after the age of 10 years. The tumors are considered as embryonal tumors that result from the fetal or early postnatal life development and are formed from neural crest-derived cells, and their origination is from the early nerve cells which are called as neuroblasts of sympathetic nervous system. Being heterogeneous in their biological, genetic, and morphological characteristics, tumors which are distinct from other solid tumors due to their biological heterogeneity result in the clinical pattern changes from spontaneous regression to a highly aggressive metastatic disease. Neuroblastoma tumorigenesis is regulated by Myc oncogene, leading to aggressive tumor subset. Many epigenetic factors play crucial role in the disease induction and development, while regulatory effect and outcome result in epigenetic patterns distinguishing neuroectoderm, neural crest, and more mature neural states. Neuroblastoma patients’ clinical management is based on prognostic categories subtracted from studies correlating outcome and clinico-biological variables. Neuroblastoma anatomic boundaries include primarily autonomic nervous system besides other rare locations. Neuroblastoma molecular pathogenesis classifies the tumor according to the different clinical behaviors that are important for the improvement of the patients outcome and overall survival according to the different therapy modalities applied.
Part of the book: Neuroblastoma