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Extracellular matrix composition defines an ultra-high-risk group of neuroblastoma within the high-risk patient cohort

  • Irene Tadeo
  • Ana P. Berbegall
  • Victoria Castel
  • Purificación García-Miguel
  • Robert Callaghan
  • Sven Påhlman
  • Samuel Navarro
  • Rosa Noguera
Publishing year: 2016-08-09
Language: English
Pages: 480-489
Publication/Series: British Journal of Cancer
Volume: 115
Issue: 4
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group

Abstract english

Background:Although survival for neuroblastoma patients has dramatically improved in recent years, a substantial number of children in the high-risk subgroup still die.Methods:We aimed to define a subgroup of ultra-high-risk patients from within the high-risk cohort. We used advanced morphometric approaches to quantify and characterise blood vessels, reticulin fibre networks, collagen type I bundles, elastic fibres and glycosaminoglycans in 102 high-risk neuroblastomas specimens. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to correlate the analysed elements with survival.Results:The organisation of blood vessels and reticulin fibres in neuroblastic tumours defined an ultra-high-risk patient subgroup with 5-year survival rate <15%. Specifically, tumours with irregularly shaped blood vessels, large sinusoid-like vessels, smaller and tortuous venules and arterioles and with large areas of reticulin fibres forming large, crosslinking, branching and haphazardly arranged networks were linked to the ultra-high-risk phenotype.Conclusions:We demonstrate that quantification of tumour stroma components by morphometric techniques has the potential to improve risk stratification of neuroblastoma patients.


  • Cancer and Oncology


  • ISSN: 0007-0920
Sven Påhlman
E-mail: sven [dot] pahlman [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se


Division of Translational Cancer Research

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