New biomarkers for neuroblastoma, a type of cancer in children
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IMAGE: This is Prof. Chandrasekahr Kanduri, Sahlgrenska Academy, Sweden. view more 

Credit: Photo by Margareta G. Kubista

Two new biomarkers for a type of cancer in children called neuroblastoma have been identified in a study published in the journal Cancer Cell. The findings are expected to have immediate significance for disease prognosis, and eventually also for treatment.

“There is a need for new methods of treatment for high-risk patients, and that’s where our research can lead to truly great benefits,” says Chandrasekhar Kanduri, professor of medical biochemistry and cell biology at Sahlgrenska Academy, Sweden.

Neuroblastoma is the most common form of childhood cancer of the peripheral nervous system, the part of the system that is not the brain or spinal cord. The disease can occur in the chest, neck, abdomen and adrenal glands and also spread to the spinal column. Symptoms may be general aches, anemia and skeletal pains.

When the disease is detected, the children are 17 months old on average and rarely over five years old. Milder variants of neuroblastoma may heal on their own in some cases, while the aggressive cases are the most deadly form of childhood cancer. Treatment is successful in less than half

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