Neuroblastoma is an extracranial solid tumor which occurs in infants and young children and accounts for 8% of pediatric cancers. It origins from neural crest cells of the sympathetic nervous system. Disease-free survival ranges from 95% for localized tumors to 30% for metastatic disease in children over 1 year of age and patients outcome depends on dissemination and tissue histology. Despite the most recent therapies, the overall survival for high risk patients is still low and the outcome is invariably fatal. Improvement of neuroblastoma treatment is one of the highest priorities in pediatric oncology and a major challenge to clinicians and researchers. Understanding the biology and genetics of pediatric malignancies will be the key to identify molecular targets for innovative treatments as well as to individual management of disease. The success of human genome project and recent advances in technology have provided new tools to investigate cancer cells and to discover new tumor-associated genes. High-throughput efforts include array-based comparative genomic hybridization, single-nucleotide polymorphism arrays and expression microarrays. Here we present an overview on the most recent advances in wide-genome analysis of neuroblastoma. We also focus on the potential clinical application of genome and transcriptome information to the diagnosis, prognosis and neuroblastoma therapy.
Keywords: Neuroblastoma, array-CGH, gene expression profiling, methylation, meta-analysis
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