Molecular mechanisms and therapeutic targets in neuroblastoma

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Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranical tumor of childhood and the most deadly tumor of infancy. It is characterized by early age onset and high frequencies of metastatic disease but also the capacity to spontaneously regress. Despite intensive therapy, the survival for patients with high-risk neuroblastoma and those with recurrent or relapsed disease is low. Hence, there is an urgent need to develop new therapies for these patient groups. The molecular pathogenesis based on high-throughput omics technologies of neuroblastoma is beginning to be resolved which have given the opportunity to develop personalized therapies for high-risk patients. Here we discuss the potential of developing targeted therapies against aberrantly expressed molecules detected in sub-populations of neuroblastoma patients and how these selected targets can be drugged in order to overcome treatment resistance, improve survival and quality of life for these patients and also the possibilities to transfer preclinical research into clinical testing.

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