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Projects Sharing Researchers


  • Shahab Asgharzadeh
  • Robert C. Seeger



Project TitlePrediction of Survival in Metastatic Neuroblastoma Based on 14 Genes Expressed by Tumor and Tumor-Associateds Inflammatory Cells
Track Code2011-009
Short Description

Technology Summary: A gene expression test that is able to predict risk of disease progression in metastatic neuroblastoma patients.


Background: Neuroblastoma, an embryonal tumor of the peripheral sympathetic nervous system, is one of the most common solid tumors in children, with approximately 40 percent of patients presenting with metastatic disease at diagnosis. Age at diagnosis is the most important clinical variable for assigning patients with metastatic, MYCN non-amplified, neuroblastoma (NBL-NA) to an intermediate- or high-risk group. Children diagnosed with metastatic NBL-NA before 18 months of age have greater than 90 percent overall survival after receiving only moderate intensity chemotherapy. By contrast, patients diagnosed at greater than or equal to18 months of age have poor outcomes. Having the means to identify individuals at extremely high-risk for disease progression among this population of clinically indistinguishable patients diagnosed after 18 months of age would be valuable for the management of their therapy. Furthermore, understanding the mechanisms underlying this age-dependent clinical behavior would also be invaluable.

Technology Description: A molecular prognostic test based on a 14-gene
signature that can predict disease progression in patients diagnosed at greater than or equal to18 months of age. The technology employed in this assay is the same as that currently used in OncotypeDx for prognosis of breast cancer.

Analysis of the quantitative expression of 44 genes that were chosen for their previously known involvement in neuroblastoma in tumors from patients diagnosed before or after 18 months of age identified the 14-gene signature that was validated in two international cohorts of patients diagnosed at greater than or equal to18 months of age. The signature recognizes a subset of individuals at extremely high risk for disease progression.

Most of the genes in the signature are tumor-related; however, others suggest new targets for therapy that are greatly needed to improve outcomes in patients diagnosed at greater than or equal to18 months of age.


  • Neuroblastoma diagnosis for improved treatment


  • Can be set-up as a clinical assay
  • Can help the management of clinically indistinguishable patients

Development Stage:

  • Identification of the 14-gene signature
  • Data analysis and validation of the signature

IP Protection: Confidential information

Posted DateMar 12, 2012 6:38 PM


Shahab Asgharzadeh
Robert C. Seeger

Intellectual Property

Patent Number Issue Date Type Country of Filing
None None Other Patent None