Nationwide neuroblastoma mass screening for 6-month-old infants (first screening) was introduced in Japan in 1985. About 110 neuroblastoma cases are detected annually by the first screening and treated, with a survival rate of 97%. Sensitivity of the first screening (positive cases/positive cases + false negative cases) is about 75%, and the prognosis of false-negative cases is unfavorable. A second screening at 18 months of age was started to rescue false-negative cases in Miyagi Prefecture in May 1992. Of 62 neuroblastoma cases treated in our hospital since 1985, 40 cases had received the first screening. Twenty cases were positive at first screening, 18 cases were false negative, and 2 cases were false negative and picked up by the second screening. Age distribution of false-negative cases ranged from 12 to 83 months and included 12 cases younger than 36 months old. Only 5 of 18 false-negative cases are alive without the disease. From May 1992 to November 1993, 14,282 infants had received the second screening (compliance rate: about 75%), and 2 neuroblastoma cases were detected. The first case was stage III with paraortic lymph node metastases, Shimada UH, aneuploidy and negative N-myc amplification. The second case was stage II with Shimada FH, aneuploidy, and negative N-myc amplification. Both cases are alive now without the disease after undergoing radical operation and chemotherapy. The first screening is effective for early detection of neuroblastoma cases, but the sensitivity is insufficient; the authors recommend a second screening to rescue false-negative cases.
- mass screening
- second screening
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health