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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)


Other Names for this Disease
  • NB
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Neuroblastoma is a tumor that develops from a nerve in a child, usually before the age of 5.  It occurs in the abdomen near the adrenal glands, but it can also occur in other parts of the body.  It is considered an aggressive tumor because it often spreads to other parts of the body (metastasizes).[1][2]  The symptoms of a neuroblastoma may include a lump in the abdomen, pain, diarrhea, or generally feeling unwell.[3]  It affects one out of 100,000 children.[3]  The exact cause of this tumor is not yet known.  Neuroblastoma may be diagnosed by physical examination; specific blood tests; imaging tests such as x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computed tomography (CT) scans; and a biopsy.[1][3]  Treatment depends on the size and location of the tumor within the body, as well as the child’s age. Surgery is often the first step of treatment, and may be followed by chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a stem cell transplant in more severe cases.[3]
Last updated: 10/7/2011


  1. National Cancer Institute. General Information about Neuroblastoma. Neuroblastoma Treatment. September, 2011; Accessed 10/5/2011.
  2. American Cancer Society. Neuroblastoma. June, 2011; Accessed 10/5/2011.
  3. MedlinePlus. Neuroblastoma. December, 2010; Accessed 10/5/2011.
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Basic Information

  • The American Cancer Society provides a detailed overview of neuroblastoma. Click on the link above to access this information.
  • The Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation provides information about neuroblastoma through a Parent Handbook. Click on the link above to access an online version of the Handbook.
  • Genetics Home Reference (GHR) contains information on Neuroblastoma. This website is maintained by the National Library of Medicine.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The National Cancer Institute provides the most current information on cancer for patients, health professionals, and the general public.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Neuroblastoma. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.

Selected Full-Text Journal Articles

Other Names for this Disease
  • NB
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.