Although most cases seem to occur sporatically, there is strong evidence for genetic factors.
Neuroblastomas are believed to arise from primitive cells of neural crest origin.,
Neuroblastoma is one of the more common childhood malignancies.
It accounts for 15% of childhood cancer deaths.
35% of neuroblastoma cases are diagnosed in the first year of life.
20% of neuroblastoma cases are diagnosed in the second year of life.
90% of cases are diagnosed under the age of five.
|General Gross Description|
Tumors may be small to massive (1 kg).
Cut surface is usually soft, fleshy, and brain-like with variegated areas of necrosis and hemorrhage.
These tumors have a tendency to have calcifications which can be a helpful in radiologic studies.
|General Microscopic Description|
Histologically, neuroblastoma is one of the so-called small blue round cell tumors of childhood.
The tumor is generally composed of small (lymphocyte-size) cells with round nuclei and scant cytoplasm.
Areas of differentiation to look for are spindled cell contour with cytoplasmic extensions, abundant perinuclear cytoplasm resembling ganglion cells, and circular arrangement of nuclei without lumenal definition (rosette formation).
Microcalcifications are also a histologic feature.
Cotran RS, Kumar V, Robbins SL: Robbins Pathologic Basis of Disease. 5th ed. Philadelphia, W.B. Saunders, 1994, pp. 459-461.
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||Synopsis by: Harold Yamase M.D. (T71000M80006)