MYCN gene amplification is a powerful prognostic factor even in infantile neuroblastoma detected by mass screening

T. Iehara, H. Hosoi, K. Akazawa, Y. Matsumoto, K. Yamamoto, S. Suita, T. Tajiri, T. Kusafuka, E. Hiyama, M. Kaneko, F. Sasaki, T. Sugimoto, T. Sawada

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39 Citations (Scopus)


MYCN is the most powerful prognostic factor in cases of older children. However, how MYCN is related to the prognosis of infantile cases is not clear. A mass screening program was carried out by measuring urinary catecholamine metabolites (VMA and HVA) from 6-month-old infants. Of 2084 cases detected by the screening program, MYCN amplification (MNA) was examined by Southern blot analyses in 1533 cases from 1987 to 2000. Of the 1533 cases examined, 1500 (97.8%) showed no MNA, 20 cases (1.3%) showed MNA from three to nine copies, and 13 (0.8%) cases showed more than 10 copies. The 4-year overall survival rates of these three groups (99, 89 and 53%, respectively) were significantly different (P<0.001), indicating that MYCN copy number correlates with the prognosis. Cases with MNA more than 10 copies were more advanced than those without amplification (stage III, IV vs I, II, IVs; P<0.001). Patients with MNA more than 10 copies had significantly higher serum levels of neuron-specific-enolase (NSE) and ferritin than non-amplified patients (P = 0.049, P = 0.025, respectively). MYCN amplification was strongly correlated with a poor prognosis in infantile neuroblastoma cases. Therefore, for the selection of appropriate treatment, an accurate determination of MNA is indispensable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1510-1515
Number of pages6
JournalBritish journal of cancer
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 22 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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