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Yong MH, Hwang WS, Knight LA, Fung W, Chan MY, Seow WT, Chui CH
Correspondence: Dr Chui Chan Hon, email@example.com
Introduction Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial solid tumour in children, accounting for about 5.3 percent of all childhood cancers in Singapore. Several genetic abnormalities have been reported as prognostic markers, including amplification of the MYCN gene, deletion of the short arm of chromosome 1 (1p) and gain of the long arm of chromosome 17 (17q). However, the correlation between tumour histology and these genetic parameters remains to be established in our local population.
Methods 14 untreated primary neuroblastoma tumours, diagnosed consecutively in our hospital between 2003 and 2007, were included for this study. Tumour tissues were classified histologically as favourable or unfavourable, according to the modification of World Heath Organization Classification of Tumours, by associating the degree of differentiation and mitotic karyorrhectic index of the neuroblastoma to the age of the patient. Fluorescence in situ hybridisation analysis for MYCN, 1p status and 17q status were subsequently performed on tumour touch imprints.
Results Five tumours with favourable histology were all negative for the three genetic parameters being investigated. The other nine tumours showing unfavourable histology exhibited one or more of the three genetic parameters. All MYCN amplified tumours either had additional 1p deletion and/or 17q gain.
Conclusion Our limited data suggests that 1p deletion and 17q gain are reliable independent parameters correlating with an unfavourable histology and poor clinical outcome. The use of 1p deletion and 17q gain studies, in addition to MYCN amplification studies, should be considered routinely in predicting prognosis in neuroblastomas.
Singapore Med J 2009; 50(11): 1090-1094