Introduction: Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial solid tumor in
childhood and survival rate has improved during the last few decades. Only a few
studies, related to Neuroblastoma in Saudi Arabian children, have been performed.
We report epidemiologic data and our clinical experience from the department of
Pediatric Hematology Oncology (PHO), King Fahad Medical City (KFMC), Riyadh, Saudi
Arabia. Method: A retrospective observational study of all patients, with diagnosis
of Neuroblastoma, who attended PHO-KFMC from July 2006 to June 2014 was performed.
The survival periods (overall survival and disease-free survival) and the final
outcomes for patients treated and followed at KFMC were recorded. The survival data
were statistically correlated with the clinical, pathological and biological features
of patients and tumors and compared to national and international cohorts. Results:
Eight-year data were available for the 42 patients of which 22 (52.4%) were male
and 20 (47.6%) were females. Age at diagnosis ranged 0 - 91 months with a mean and
median of 26.3 and 18.5 months respectively. 16 (38.1%) patients were under one
year and 26 (61.9%) above 1 year of age. The event-free survival (EFS) and overall
survival (OS) rates were 66.5% and 71.5% respectively. EFS and OS among those who
were <1 year age at presentation was 75% and 82%, whereas ≥1 yr age group had
59% and 62% survival rates respectively. Patients with tumors in the adrenal had
considerably lower EFS (59%) and OS (63%); in comparison to patients with tumors
sites other than the adrenal who had EFS and OS of 85% and 89% respectively. Both
EFS and OS survival rates at the end of follow-up interval were 100.0%, in the low
and intermediate risk groups. In contrast, patients in the high risk group had EFS
and OS rates of 44% and 48% respectively. This difference was statistically significant
(p < 0.05). Conclusion: Our results are very encouraging and comparable with
known published international cohorts, and reveal an excellent outcome for stage
1, 2, 3 & 4 s. The prognosis for advanced (stage 4) disease remains rather poor.
A collaborative Saudi-wide effort, with an emphasis on research in detecting clinical and biologic characteristics of
aggressive disease and tailoring therapy, is needed.
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