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Neuroblastoma in Children

lilly and dr sholler 
Our multidisciplinary team of experienced children’s cancer professionals at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is uniquely qualified to provide hope and healing for children with high-risk cancers such as neuroblastoma. We are actively involved in ground-breaking research to further understand neuroblastoma and are proud to be at the forefront of advanced personalized medicine with national collaborations that are moving this research forward. This means we can offer your child and family leading-edge treatments for his or her specific genetic analysis that are showing the most encouraging results.

Our pediatric oncology research program oversees the Beat Childhood Cancer consortium, which includes 33 hospitals across the United States. Within the consortium, we enrolled 203 children on our clinical trials in 2017. These trials are based on the research from collaborating investigators who are linked with laboratory programs developing novel therapies and technologies. 

Neuroblastoma is a rare form of cancer that usually affects infants and young children. It is a solid cancerous tumor that typically starts in the tissue of the adrenal glands or spinal nerves, and then spreads to other parts of the body. Neuroblasts are immature nerve cells found in unborn babies. Normal neuroblasts mature into nerve cells or adrenal medulla cells, which are cells found in the center of the adrenal gland. Neuroblastoma forms when neuroblasts don’t mature properly. Sometimes, babies are born with small clusters of neuroblasts that eventually mature into nerve cells and do not become cancer. A neuroblast that does not mature can continue to grow, forming a mass called a tumor. With improved treatment, more and more children with neuroblastoma have a good chance of remission and a cure.

Health Beat