Predicting outcome of neuroblastoma using N-myc status and Trk-A expression


  • Sankkara Barathi Chandrasekaran Department of Paediatric Surgery, Madras Medical College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Gopinath Vinayagamoorthy Department of Paediatric Surgery, Madras Medical College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India



Neuroblastoma, Children, N-myc amplification, Trk-A expression


Background: Neuroblastoma is an embryonal cancer of the postganglionic sympathetic nervous system. It is the third most common pediatric cancer. The aim of the present study was to determine MYCN amplification and Trk-A expression in tissue samples of neuroblastoma cases and to correlate them with clinical status, stage and histopathology of the disease.

Methods: This prospective study was conducted at the Institute of Child Health and hospital for children [ICH & HC], Egmore during the period from June 2011 to March 2012. Ten children of age between 8 months to 12 years diagnosed with neuroblastoma were included in the study. Tissue samples were collected from all patients and sent to evaluate histopathology to confirm the presence of neuroblastoma. Gene expression was studied using TaqMan quantitative RT-PCR. Immunohistochemistry of tissues samples were done to evaluate N-myc amplification and Trk A expression.

Results: The most common presenting symptom was mass in the abdomen (60%) in the patients. In majority, stage 3 neuroblastoma was noticed in 5 (50%) cases. On histopathology, 2 (20%) cases were identified of ganglioneuro-blastoma, and 8 (80%) cases as neuroblastoma. N-myc was amplified in 3 cases (30%). No amplification was noted in all 3 cases (0%) of stage 1. None of the case in this study group showed Trk-A expression.

Conclusions: N-myc amplification was well correlated with the stages of neuroblastoma. It should be considered to be as an important prognostic marker to select appropriate treatment in children with neuroblastomas.


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Original Research Articles