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