MYCN Copy Number Tied to Poor Features in Neuroblastoma

Patients with MYCN gain had inferior outcomes, including lowest response rate after chemo

genetic helix

MONDAY, July 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of unfavorable features is increased in association with increasing MYCN copy number in patients with neuroblastoma, according to a study published online July 11 in Cancer.

Kevin Campbell, M.D., from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study involving patients with MYCN wild-type tumors, MYCN gain (two- to four-fold increase), or high-level MYCN amplification (MNA; more than four-fold increase). The authors examined ordered associations between MYCN copy number category and features of interest.

The researchers found that 79.1 percent of the 4,672 patients had MYCN wild-type tumors, 2.8 percent had MYCN gain, and 18.1 percent had MNA. The percentage of patients with an unfavorable feature was lowest, intermediate, and highest in the MYCN wild-type, the MYCN gain, and the MNA categories, respectively (P < 0.0001) for each clinical/biological feature, except for 11q aberration, which had the highest rates in the MYCN gain category. Inferior event-free survival and overall survival were seen for patients with MYCN gain compared with MYCN wild-type. MYCN gain correlated with the lowest response rate after chemotherapy among patients with high-risk disease. A significantly increased risk for death was seen among patients with non-stage 4 disease and patients with non-high-risk disease with MYCN gain.

"Increasing MYCN copy number is associated with an increasingly higher rate of unfavorable clinical/biological features, with 11q aberration being an exception," the authors write.

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