Treatment results for neuroblastoma in Denmark have been poorer than in other Nordic countries, so we investigated whether a change in incidence, stage distribution and survival had occurred between 1981 and 2000. Clinical data were retrieved from the medical charts of 160 children <15 years of age with extra-cranial neuroblastoma (n=139) or ganglioneuroblastoma (n=21) diagnosed in Denmark between 1981 and 2000. The minimal follow-up time was 52 months. Statistical analyses were performed in STATA. The incidence was 8.55 per million children below 15 years of age (world standard 9.6) and 42.6 per million children below 12 months of age, and it has remained unchanged since 1970. The median age at diagnosis was 27 months. In all, 32% of the children were aged below 12 months at diagnosis, 53% had metastatic disease and in 12% the diagnosis was made incidentally. Prognostic factors such as age, stage and site of primary tumour were the same as in other studies and did not change. During the study period, the mortality rate decreased steadily, and the 5-year survival rate increased from 38% in 1981–1985 to 59% in 1996–2000, corresponding to the level found in other Western countries. Increased survival was also seen in children with metastatic disease. Participation in international studies, better supportive care and possibly postoperative autologous stem cell transplantation may have contributed to the increased survival
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