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Ganglioneuroblastoma is an intermediate tumor arising from nerve tissue. An intermediate tumor is one that is between benign (slow-growing and unlikely to spread) and malignant (fast-growing, aggressive, and likely to spread).
This rare tumor has a yearly occurrence of less than 5 per 1,000,000 children.
Tumors of the nervous system vary in their degree of differentiation. The degree of differentiation determines how the tumors appear under the microscope and whether or not they are likely to spread.
Benign tumors are less likely to spread. Malignant tumors are aggressive, grow quickly, and often spread. A ganglioneuroma is a benign tumor, while a neuroblastoma (occurring in children more than a year old) is generally malignant.
A ganglioneuroblastoma may be localized to one area or it may be widespread, but it is usually less aggressive than a neuroblastoma. The cause is unknown.
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Kim S, Chung DH. Pediatric solid malignancies: neuroblastoma and Wilms' tumor. Surg Clin North Am. 2006;86(2):469-487.
Park JR, Eggert A, Caron H. Neuroblastoma: biology, prognosis, and treatment. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2008;55(1):97-120.
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