What is Neuroblastoma?

Neuroblastoma (NB) is a rare form of childhood cancer that is particularly aggressive. Children diagnosed with Neuroblastoma must endure long painful treatments resulting in a 30% survival rate. Our goal is to work diligently toward a cure rate for NB that is parallel to other childhood cancers (such as Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, Retinoblastoma, or Wilms Tumor) which have survival rates of 85-90%. Funding for research and drug development is desperately needed to achieve this goal. Current drugs and treatments prolong survival but can cause debilitating long-term side effects.

Some facts about NB:

-There is no known cause of neuroblastoma
-1 in 100,000 children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma each year.
-The survival rate for Stage IV neuroblastoma is only 30%.
-Up to 60% of the cases have metastasized (spread to other parts of the body) by the time they are diagnosed.
-While most childhood cancer survival rates have significantly improved over the last several decades, neuroblastoma remains one of the lowest survived cancers.
-Cancer accounts for the greatest number of disease deaths of children in the United States and kills more children per year than cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, asthma and AIDS combined; yet, neuroblastoma receives a fraction of the funding.
-Neuroblastoma is the 3rd most popular cancer among children and often the most difficult to treat.
It is the most common tumor found in children younger than 1 year of age.
Every 16 hours a child with neuroblastoma dies.
There is no known cure for relapsed neuroblastoma.
Neuroblastoma is a very aggressive cancer, and nearly 70% of those children first diagnosed with neuroblastoma have disease that has already metastasized or spread to other parts of the body. When disease has spread at diagnosis and a child is over the age of 2, there is less than a 30% chance of survival.
70 out of 100 neuroblastoma patients have a period of remission. Of those 70, 35 will relapse. Out of those 35, 20 -30% will go into remission for a second time. Most of that 30% will relapse again and not have a chance to grow up.
Approximately 1,000 children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma in the United States each year.
Doctors have known about neuroblastoma for approximately 35 years.
Neuroblastoma is primarily diagnosed in children younger than 5 years.
The cause of neuroblastoma is unknown, and it is more likely to occur in males than females.
Neuroblastoma has one of the lowest survival rates of all pediatric cancers.
Neuroblastoma is difficult to diagnose in small children, and its progression is often rapid and painful.
There are no widespread FDA approved drugs or treatments available today designed to specifically treat neuroblastoma. Treatments include chemotherapy drugs designed for different types of adult cancers.
Of all cancer research money, pediatric cancer gets less than 3%. Neuroblastoma itself gets even less than that.
Neuroblastoma accounts for 8% of childhood cancer cases, but is responsible for 15% of all childhood cancer deaths.
Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer in children.
Childhood cancer is not a single disease, but rather many different types that fall into twelve major categories.
Cancers are extremely rare in children, yet many cancers are almost exclusively found in children.
Currently there are approximately 40,000 children undergoing cancer treatment in the US.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, which nationally goes unrecognized.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that childhood cancer “is for life.”
3 out of every 5 children diagnosed with cancer suffer long term or late onset side effects such as heart damage, chemo induced secondary cancer, lung damage, infertility, hearing loss, growth defects and more.
At present childhood cancer cannot be prevented and occurs regularly and randomly, sparing no ethnic group, socioeconomic or geographic class.
It is estimated that 1 in every 450 adults is a childhood cancer survivor.
Cancer symptoms in children – fever, swollen glands, anemia, bruises and infection – are often suspected to be, and at the early stages treated as, other childhood illnesses.
In the past 20 years only one new cancer drug has been approved for pediatric use.
14,000 children will be diagnosed this year with cancer. That is the size of 2 average classrooms every single day, year after year.
Pharmaceutical companies fund over 50% of adult cancer research, but virtually nothing for kids.