Risks and benefits of ending of mass screening for neuroblastoma at 6 months of age in Japan

Tatsuro Tajiri, Ryota Souzaki, Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Sakura Tanaka, Yuhki Koga, Aiko Suminoe, Akinobu Matsuzaki, Toshiro Hara, Tomoaki Taguchi

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The mass screening (MS) for neuroblastoma (NB) at 6 months of age in Japan was discontinued in 2004. This study assessed the risks and benefits of MS based on an analysis of NB detected before or after discontinuation of MS in Japan. Methods: The clinical features and Brodeur's genetic type based on MYCN, DNA ploidy, and other genetic aberrations were assessed in 113 NB patients (20 cases after and 93 cases [55 MS cases] before the discontinuation of MS) older than 6 months treated at one institution since 1985. Results: The 20 patients with NBs detected after MS was discontinued ranged in age from 7 to 67 months, 12 patients were stage 4, and 11 patients would have been detected at 6 months of age if they had undergone MS. The Brodeur's genetic type of these 20 patients showed that 30% (6/20) were type 1 (low risk), 55% (11/20) were type 2A (intermediate risk), and 15% (3/20) were type 2B (high risk). Of 93 patients with NB detected before MS was discontinued, 60% (56/93) were type 1, 18% (17/93) were type 2A, and 22% (20/93) were type 2B. Among the type 2A patients, 82% (9/11) of the patients detected after MS was discontinued showed stage 4, whereas only 50% (9/18) of those diagnosed before MS was discontinued were stage 4. The genetic analysis using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array for type 2A showed that the pattern of genetic aberration was equivalent in those detected either before or after MS was discontinued. Conclusions: There was a decrease of type 1 and an increase of type 2A NB in patients after MS was discontinued in Japan. These results suggest that most of the type 1 detected by MS has regressed, and most of the type 2A detected by MS has appeared sporadically as advanced NB in patients older than 1 year.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2253-2257
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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