Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of relapsed and refractory neuroblastoma?

As with newly diagnosed neuroblastoma, the symptoms of relapsed neuroblastoma can vary greatly, depending on the size and location of the tumor and whether or not the tumor has spread.

While neuroblastoma usually begins in the abdomen, especially in the tissues of the adrenal glands, it may also begin in nerve tissues in the neck, chest or pelvis. These tumors often spread to other areas of the body, including the lymph nodes, liver, bones and bone marrow.

The symptoms of relapsed neuroblastoma can include:

  • an abdominal mass
  • enlarged lymph nodes in the neck
  • swelling and bruising of the area around the eyes
  • unexplained fevers, bone pain or limping
  • weakness or paralysis
  • weight loss or poor appetite
  • uncontrolled eye or leg movements

What causes relapsed and refractory neuroblastoma in children?

It is important to understand that tumors often emerge with no known cause. Many may result from the combined effects of genetic and environmental factors, but some cancers are caused by inherited conditions. Conditions associated with pheochromocytomas include neurofibromatosis, von Hippel-Lindau disease, multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) syndromes, tuberous sclerosis, Sturge-Weber syndrome, and ataxia-telangiectasia.

Adrenocortical carcinomas are often linked to genetic conditions, most often Li-Fraumeni syndrome. About 50 to 80 percent of pediatric ACC patients have this syndrome. Other related conditions include MEN1, Lynch syndrome, Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, and hemihypertrophy.