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Prognostic value of stage IV neuroblastoma metastatic immunophenotype in the bone marrow: preliminary report
  1. M Nowicki1,
  2. D Ostalska-Nowicka2,
  3. B Miskowiak3
  1. 1Department of Histology and Embryology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Swiecickiego 6, 60-781 Poznań, Poland
  2. 2Department of Cardiology and Nephrology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences
  3. 3Department of Optometry and Biology of the Visual System, Poznan University of Medical Sciences
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr M Nowicki
 Department of Histology and Embryology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, ul. Swiecickiego 6, 60-781 Poznań, Poland; mnowicki{at}


Aim: To correlate the immunophenotype of metastatic cells in the bone marrow of patients with neuroblastoma with early treatment failure.

Methods: The studies were performed on bone marrow material obtained from children treated in the department of paediatric oncology, haematology, and transplantology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland from 1996 to 2003. Immunocytochemical analysis of nervous tissue markers (using the immunomax technique) was performed on 108 bone marrow preparations obtained from 36 children diagnosed with neuroblastoma (stage IV with bone marrow metastases). The analysis included expression of PGP 9.5 protein, substance P, chromogranin A, bombesin, galanin, neuropeptide Y (NPY), and vasoactive intestinal peptide in neuroblastoma metastatic cells defined by the expression of neurone specific enolase.

Results: Nineteen relapses occurred within 12 months of the end of treatment. Correlation between the various markers studied and early treatment failure, using Fisher’s exact test, revealed that chromogranin A and NPY are strong indicators of an unfavourable prognosis in patients with stage IV neuroblastoma (p < 0.001 and p < 0.0002, respectively).

Conclusion: Determination of metastatic cell immunophenotypes in bone marrow (particularly chromogranin A and NPY) may help establish the short term prognosis in children with neuroblastoma.

  • NPY, neuropeptide Y
  • VIP, vasoactive intestinal peptide
  • neuroblastoma
  • prognosis
  • neuropeptide
  • immunohistochemistry

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