What is Neuroblastoma?

  • Neuroblastoma is a common and often difficult to treat cancer, the most common cancer in infancy.
  • In the United States, about 600 children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma each year.
  • It is the most common tumor found in children younger than 1 year of age.
  • Neuroblastoma is the most common extra cranial solid tumor cancer in children.
  • Every 16 hours a child with neuroblastoma dies.
  • There is no known cure for relapsed neuroblastoma.
  • Nearly 70% of those children first diagnosed with neuroblastoma have disease that has already metastasized or spread to other parts of the body. When disease has spread at diagnosis and a child is over the age of 2, there is less than a 30% chance of survival.

Childhood Cancer Facts

  • Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer in children.
  • There are 15 children diagnosed with cancer for every one child diagnosed with pediatric AIDS. Yet, the U.S. invests approximately $595,000 for research per victim of pediatric AIDS and only $20,000 for each victim of childhood cancer.
  • The National Cancer Institute's (NCI) federal budget was $4.6 billion. Of that, breast cancer received 12%, prostate cancer received 7%, and all 12 major groups of pediatric cancers combined received less than 3%.
  • The American Cancer spends less than 70 cents of each 100 dollars raised on childhood cancer.
  • Cancer kills more children than any other disease, more than Asthma, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes and Pediatric AIDS combined.
  • Sadly, over 2,300 children with cancer die each year.
  • Every school day 46 children are diagnosed.
  • 1 in 330 children will have the disease by age 20.
  • Cancers in very young children are highly aggressive and behave unlike malignant diseases at other times in life.
  • 80% of children have metastasized cancer at the time of their diagnosis. At diagnosis, only 20% of adults with cancer show evidence that the disease has spread or metastasized.
  • Detecting childhood cancers at an early stage, when the disease would react more favorably to treatment, is extremely difficult.
  • Cancer symptoms in children - fever, swollen glands, anemia, bruises and infection - are often suspected to be, and at the early stages are treated as, other childhood illnesses.
  • Even with insurance coverage, a family will have out-of pocket expenses of about $40,000 per year, not including travel.
  • Treatment can continue for several years, depending on the type of cancer and the type of therapy given.

Causes of Childhood Cancer

  • Every family is potentially at risk.
  • In almost all cases, childhood cancers arise from non-inherited mutations (or changes) in the genes of growing cells.
  • As these errors occur randomly and unpredictably, there is currently no effective way to predict or prevent them.
  • Most adult cancers result from lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, occupational hazards and exposure to other cancer causing agents.

Cancer Research Funding

  • Nationally, childhood cancer is 20x more prevalent than pediatric AIDS.
  • Pediatric AIDS receives 4x the funding that childhood cancer receives.
  • In one month there are 2x as many deaths from childhood cancer as pediatric AIDS for the entire year.
  • In the U.S. almost 3,000 children do not survive cancer each year.
  • Over the past 20 years, only TWO new cancer drug has been approved for pediatric use - Clofarabine (Clolar-Genzyme) in 2004 for ALL and Tenoposide (Vumar/VM-26-BMS) in 1990.
  • Only 3% of the National Cancer Institute Budget goes toward Pediatric Cancer Research.
  • September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, which nationally goes unrecognized.
  • The federal government recently cut the budget for Childhood Cancer Research.
  • Currently there are between 30 - 40,000 children undergoing cancer treatment in the U.S.
  • Young patients often have a more advanced stage of cancer when first diagnosed. Approximately 20% of adults with cancer show evidence the disease has spread, yet almost 80% of children show that the cancer has spread at diagnosis.
  • Today, up to 75% of the children with cancer can be cured, yet some forms of childhood cancer have proven so resistant to treatment that, in spite of research, a cure is illusive.
  • As a nation, we spend over $14 BILLION per year on the space program, but only $35 million on Childhood Cancer Research each year.
  • There are 15 children diagnosed with cancer for every one child diagnosed with pediatric AIDS. Yet, the U.S. invests approximately $595,000 for research per victim of pediatric AIDS and only $20,000 for each victim of childhood cancer.
  • The National Cancer Institute's (NCI) federal budget for 2003 was $4.6 billion. Of that, breast cancer received 12%, prostate cancer received 7%, and all 12 major groups of pediatric cancers combined received less than 3%.
  • Research funds are scarce as most money is diverted to well-publicized adult forms of cancer, such as breast and prostate.
  • In 2005, the American Cancer Society provided only 2.5% of funded grants, or 1.85% of dollars spent on research to pediatric cancer.

 

Neuroblastoma Websites