What is neuroblastoma?

Neuroblastoma is a cancerous tumor that begins in nerve tissue of very young children, usually beginning in the abdomen or adrenal glands. Abnormal nerve cells may be present before birth, but the diagnosis isn’t made until the cells begin to multiply, forming a tumor. Neuroblastoma is most commonly diagnosed in children less than 5 years of age and is very rare after the age of 10.

How Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s approaches neuroblastoma

Because neuroblastoma is rarely seen in adults, it is important that your child receive care from an experienced team of pediatric specialists who focus exclusively on treating childhood cancers. The Neuroblastoma Program at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center treats newly diagnosed and relapsed patients and provides innovative therapies for children with relapsed or refractory neuroblastoma.

Our Neuroblastoma Program is one of about ten pediatric cancer programs in the United States—and the only program in New England—offering MIBG therapy, a targeted form of radiation therapy for refractory neuroblastoma.

 Find in-depth information about neuroblastoma on the Dana-Farber/Boston Children's website, including answers to:

  • What causes neuroblastoma?
  • What are the symptoms of neuroblastoma?
  • How is neuroblastoma diagnosed?
  • How is neuroblastoma treated?
  • What is the latest research on neuroblastoma?
  • What is the long-term outlook for children with neuroblastoma?