Understanding the Treatment OptionsUnderstanding the Treatment Options

Understanding the Treatment Options

How is neuroblastoma treated?

Treatment in neuroblastoma will vary for children in different risk groups. Those with high-risk neuroblastoma have a higher risk of relapse and may receive more intensive therapy than those with non–high-risk (low- or intermediate-risk) neuroblastoma.

Low risk

40% of new patients

Main treatments

  • Observation
  • Surgery


>95% survival

Intermediate risk

15% of new patients

Main treatments


>90% survival

High risk

45-50% of new patients

Main treatments

  • Chemotherapy
  • Surgery
  • High-dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue
  • Radiation therapy
  • Immunotherapy


<60% survival

Non–high-risk (low- or intermediate-risk) neuroblastoma

For children with low-risk neuroblastoma, surgery to remove the tumor is often the only treatment necessary. Treatment for children with intermediate-risk neuroblastoma often includes chemotherapy and, if necessary, surgery to remove the tumor as well.

Learn more about your child’s treatment for non–high-risk (low- or intermediate-risk) neuroblastoma

High-risk neuroblastoma

For children with high-risk neuroblastoma, intensive (strong) treatment that combines chemotherapy, surgery, autologous stem cell transplant (also called bone marrow transplant), radiation therapy, and antibody therapy is usually required.

Children are considered to have high-risk neuroblastoma either because of aggressive tumor cell characteristics or the presence of disease in multiple places.

Learn more about your child’s treatment for high-risk neuroblastoma