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How To Diagnose Neuroblastoma & What Is The Best Medicine For It?

Various diagnostic techniques are available for accurately diagnosing neuroblastoma. Although various medications are available for this condition, it may be possible that all the patents may not respond equally to a particular treatment strategy.

How To Diagnose Neuroblastoma?

Urine And Blood Test: In some case, the neuroblastoma cells contain enough catecholamine. If neuroblastoma cells contain catecholamine, its level will increase in the blood and urine that can be detected by the urine and blood test.

Imaging Test: Imaging test helps to identify the area where the tumor develops and also indicate how far the cancer is spread. Imaging test including X-ray, sound waves, magnetic field and radioactive substance that create a picture inside the body. MRI is used to detect the presence of tumor in the brain and spinal cord.

Ultrasound: It is a technique that is used if cancer spread in the body parts such as blood vessels, liver, and pancreas. This technique does not use any type of radiation and is considered relatively safe in children.

MBIG (Iodine-Meta-Iodobenzyl-Guanidine): In this technique, radioactive material is administered in the blood and it gets attached to the cancerous cells. After 1-3 days the body scanned with a special camera. That camera helps in detection of the area where radioactivity picked up.

PET (Positron Emission Tomography) Scan: In this technique, a radioactive substance injected into the body. because the cancer cells absorb a large amount of the radioactive substance. After a one-hour, body is scanned with PET scanner2.

What Is The Best Medicine For It?

There is no best medicine for the treatment of neuroblastoma that works well in all the patients. The doctor will have prescribed the medicine on the basis of stage of the neuroblastoma and the condition of the patients. Neuroblastoma is classified on the basis of risk as low-risk; intermediate risk and high-risk group and the treatment are done accordingly. The doctors will also have prescribed the combination of drug therapy in case of high-risk neuroblastoma.

Neuroblastoma is a type of cancer caused by the immature nerve cells that are found in different areas of the body. It is the disease that commonly develops in tissues of the adrenal gland and triangular gland that present on the top of the kidney and control the blood pressure, heart rate and other important function of the body. Similar to other malignant tumors, neuroblastoma can also spread in other body parts including lymph node, skin, bone, and liver. It is commonly occurring in both children and youngers but rarely occurs in older children1.

Treatment Of Neuroblastoma

Topotecan Plus Cyclophosphamide: Topotecan plus cyclophosphamide is effective for the treatment of stage fourth neuroblastoma. It is the best medicine for those patients that do not choose stem cell transplantation3.

Dinutuximab4: Dinutuximab is known as a human/mouse chimeric antibody. Dinutuximab is given in the combination of sargramostim and is used in patients with high-risk neuroblastoma and have opted for stem cell transplantation. Neuroblastoma cell produces a substance known as GD2. This substance is present on the surface of the tumor. Dinutuximab binds to glycolipid GD2 and makes 2 different pathways for killing the tumor cells.

Vincristine Sulfate: Vincristine is used in the treatment of various types of cancer. It can be given with the combination of other chemotherapy drugs to stop the growth of cancer.

Doxorubicin Hydrochloride: Doxorubicin hydrochloride is given alone or in the combination with other chemotherapy drugs. It can be used in combination with surgery to remove the primary tumor.

Antibody-Dependent Cell-Mediated Cytotoxicity: In this pathway, Unituxin act as a natural killer cell.

Complement-Dependent Cytotoxicity: Unituxin bind with GD2 and trigger a tumor cell and this process is known as complement cascade. From this procedure, the cell gets swelled and burst.


Diagnostic technique for neuroblastoma includes imaging techniques, blood tests, and biopsy. Drugs used to treat neuroblastoma are vincristine, doxorubicin, dinutuximab, and topotecan-cyclophosphamide combination.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 7, 2021

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