Purpose: The purpose of this study was 2-fold: to study the complications of neuroblastoma treatment and to establish surgical guidelines. Materials and Methods: The medical records of 92 patients with neuroblastoma (stage 1 or 2, n = 33; stage 3, n = 21; stage 4, n = 31; stage 4S, n = 7) who had undergone surgery in our department between 1985 and 2001 were reviewed, with an emphasis on treatments and late complications. Results: The disease-free survival rate was 98.3% (58/59) in infantile patients, whereas it was 36.4% (12/33) in advanced patients older than 1 year. The rate was improved up to greater than 50% after the introduction of intensive local therapy with intraoperative radiation (IOR). The treatment-associated morbidity rate was 15.0% in nonadvanced infantile patients, was 42.1% in advanced infantile patients, and was 33.3% in advanced older patients. In the advanced cases, renovascular problems were most frequently seen especially after IOR. Furthermore, pulmonary problems, cardiac problems, and second cancer were highlighted as fatal problems; thyroid dysfunction, vertebral deformity, and growth retardation were also noted. Conclusions: Higher incidences of late morbidity and treatment-associated mortality appeared to be more strongly related to disease stage rather than to patient age. Appropriate surgery and IOR with lower doses should be recommended as a surgical strategy for high-risk patients.
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