Neuroblastoma Essay

810 Words 4 Pages
There are a multitude of treatment options to treat neuroblastoma. The most commonly known treatments are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, but there are many more including retinoid therapy, immunotherapy, and clinical trials. The type of treatment chosen is often times specific to the child and their circumstances. Most patients undergo a series or combination of treatments in hopes of destroying the cancer. Surgery is usually the first treatment for a neuroblastoma patient. Surgery can be used to remove parts of the tumor in order to diagnose the stage of the cancer, which is called an open biopsy. Surgery is also commonly used to remove as much of the tumor as possible to lessen the need for other treatments. Chemotherapy is also a …show more content…
Most people recognize this treatment from one of its side effects, hair loss. Radiation can also cause hair loss, but this treatment utilizes a different method for destroying the cancer. Radiation aims high energy beams at the cancer to kill it. There are two different types of radiation therapy that can be used on children with neuroblastoma: external beam radiation therapy and MIBG radiotherapy. External beam radiation is used to shrink the tumor prior to other treatments or to reduce pain, or is used to eliminate the remnants after chemotherapy and surgery. Radiation is normally focussed only on the tumor but is sometimes aimed at other areas to prevent the spread of cancer. On the other hand, MIBG radiotherapy uses a radioactive chemical that travels through the bloodstream to annihilate the disease. This form of treatment is used in advanced neuroblastoma cases(“Neuroblastoma”). MIBG radiotherapy can use some highly radioactive chemicals, so radioactive that it can leave the little warriors in isolation. One case of a six year old boy with neuroblastoma receives MIBG radiotherapy because his cancer is not responding to other …show more content…
This causes him to only have forty minutes each day with heavily protected visitors, one at a time, without physical contact. (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-04-24/health/chi-boy-mostly-alone-in-hospital-room-during-unique-cancer-treatment-20140424_1_unique-cancer-treatment-neuroblastoma-radiation-therapy)In other very severe cases of neuroblastoma where the child is considered high risk and has a low chance of other treatments working, high-dose chemotherapy and radiation are delivered. This treatment has a better chance than other treatments of defeating the cancer but this treatment can also damage the patient’s bone marrow. A bone marrow or stem cell transplant is usually performed following this therapy. Retinoid therapy is commonly used to prevent a relapse of cancer after intense therapy, such as high-dose chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Retinoid therapy is used for neuroblastoma cases because the chemicals used are suspected to to help cancerous cells evolve into normal cells. Another treatment for neuroblastoma attempts to heal the patient with their own immune system through

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