Nonrandom distribution of metastases in neuroblastic tumors

S. M. De la Monte, G. W. Moore, G. M. Hutchins

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    39 Scopus citations


    Metastatic behavior of neuroblastic tumors was analyzed to determine whether the secondary distribution of tumor was random, or whether the pattern of metastases was predictable and related to tumor type. The authors reviewed the 64 patients subjected to complete autopsy who had metastases from a neuroblastoma, retinoblastoma, medulloblastoma, or pinealoblastoma. The organ and tissue distribution of metastases was recorded in relation to location of primary tumor, type of therapy, survival, and presence of central nervous system metastases. Data were analyzed using chi-square contingency tables, correlation coefficients, and cluster analysis. The results indicate that: (1) the development of central nervous system metastases from neuroblastoma correlates with the pattern of extracentral nervous system metastases; (2) the pattern of tumor metastases is altered by chemotherapy and/or radiation; and (3) regardless of site of origin, neuroblastic tumors behave in a uniform manner with a nonrandom metastatic distribution in particular tissues within the central nervous system. Cluster analysis demonstrated patterns of neuroblastoma tumor metastases which were consistent with both Hutchison and Pepper syndromes. The findings suggest that a random distribution, as might be secondary to blood flow, does not account for metastatic patterns, but rather that there are preferential patterns of growth, possibly reflecting trophic tendencies in neoplasms.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)915-925
    Number of pages11
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - 1983

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Cancer Research
    • Oncology


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