Relapsed Refractory Neuroblastoma

What is relapsed and refractory neuroblastoma?

Relapsed neuroblastoma refers to the return of neuroblastoma in patients who have already undergone treatment for the disease. Approximately half of children who are treated for high-risk neuroblastoma and achieve an initial remission will have the disease come back.

In addition, in approximately 15 percent of children with high-risk neuroblastoma, the tumor does not respond to initial treatment. These children are said to have refractory neuroblastoma. The treatment approach for children with refractory neuroblastoma is similar to that for children with relapsed neuroblastoma.

How we care for relapsed and refractory neuroblastoma

Children and adolescents with relapsed or refractory neuroblastoma are treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center through the Neuroblastoma Program, one of the largest and most experienced pediatric neuroblastoma programs in the world.

Our neuroblastoma specialists are known for treating children with the most complex cases, as well as for their expertise in delivering specialized treatments. We are one of only about 10 centers in the country, and the first and only center in New England, to offer MIBG therapy, an advanced treatment option for neuroblastoma that delivers targeted radiation to kill neuroblastoma cells.