2007 Volume 30 Issue 12 Pages 2294-2299
Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common malignant solid tumor in childhood. There are well-recognized prognostic factors in NB such as age at diagnosis, organ of origin, stages, MYCN gene amplification, and expression of H-ras, trkA and survivin. Moreover, we investigated the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), p53, stem cell factor (SCF) and c-kit of its receptor with quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 22 NBs and 4 other tumors (one malignant lymphoma, one malignant teratoma, and 2 rhabdomyosarcomas) samples. The correlation between patients' prognoses and the expression of TH or c-kit was newly recognized, particularly the good prognosis in patients in whom c-kit highly expressed and the poor prognosis contrarily associated with low or no expression, although the SCF of its ligand had no relationship with patient prognosis. It is possible that tumors without c-kit expression can not react with SCF (via the autocrine or paracrine system) and remain immature. It may be that this is a new critical clinical event in NB patients.