Genetic investigation of neuroblastoma has provided few clues to account for the variability in clinical phenotype which is such a characteristic feature of this tumour. Indeed, efforts to identify the primary genetic event(s) responsible for tumour development have been overwhelmed by the number and range of different genetic abnormalities observed, particularly in the more aggressive neuroblastoma subtypes. Since neuroblastoma is a consequence of aberrant development of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), investigation of the genetic components known to be involved in the control of SNS developmental, may provide the key to understanding tumour behaviour. The neurotrophins and the glial family ligands both play very significant roles in different stages of SNS development and merit more detailed investigation as to how they might influence neuroblastoma tumorigenesis.
- tropomyosin receptor kinase
- sympathetic nervous system
- glial cell derived neurotrophic factor
- nerve growth factor
- glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol anchored co-receptor alpha
- Wilms tumour