Neuroblastoma aggressiveness in relation to sympathetic neuronal differentiation stage.
- Department of Translational Medicine
Publishing year: 2011
Publication/Series: Seminars in Cancer Biology
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Academic Press
Neuroblastoma is a childhood malignancy of the sympathetic neuronal lineage. It is a rare disease, but since it is frequently diagnosed during infancy, neuroblastoma causes life-long medical follow up of those children that survive the disease. It was early recognized that a high tumor cell differentiation stage correlates to favorable clinical stage and positive clinical outcome. Today, highly differentiated tumors are surgically removed and not further treated. Cells of many established human neuroblastoma cell lines have the capacity to differentiate when stimulated properly, and these cell lines have been used as models for studying and understanding central concepts of tumor cell differentiation. One recent aspect of this issue is the observation that tumor cells can dedifferentiate and gain a stem cell-like phenotype during hypoxic conditions, which was first shown in neuroblastoma. Aberrant or blocked differentiation is a central aspect of neuroblastoma genesis. In this review we summarize known genetic and non-genetic events in neuroblastoma that might be coupled to an aberrant sympathetic neuronal differentiation and thereby indirectly influencing tumorigenesis and/or aggressive neuroblastoma behavior.
- Cancer and Oncology
- ISSN: 1096-3650