What is neuroblastoma?
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Neuroblastoma is a solid tumor cancer that originates in the sympathetic nervous system, the nerve network that carries messages from the brain throughout the body. The cause of neuroblastoma is unknown. When neuroblast cells fail to develop normally they form tumors in the nerve tissues, most commonly in the adrenal glands.
Neuroblastoma is the most common cancer found in infants and is usually diagnosed in children under the age of five. More than half of children who are diagnosed have disease that has already metastasized or spread to other parts of the body, putting them in the high-risk category. Children with high-risk neuroblastoma currently have a 40-50% five-year survival rate. Currently, the rate of relapse for high-risk neuroblastoma is 50-60%. A cure for relapsed neuroblastoma remains elusive.