- How is neuroblastoma treated?
- Neuroblastoma surgery
- Chemotherapy for neuroblastoma
- Retinoid therapy for neuroblastoma
- Radiation therapy for neuroblastoma
- High-dose chemotherapy/radiation therapy and stem cell transplant for neuroblastoma
- Immunotherapy for neuroblastoma
- Clinical trials for neuroblastoma
- Complementary and alternative therapies for neuroblastoma
- Treatment of neuroblastoma by risk group
- Emotional and social issues in children with neuroblastoma
- More treatment information about neuroblastoma
Retinoid therapy for neuroblastoma
Retinoids are chemicals that are related to vitamin A. They are known as differentiating agents because they are thought to help some cancer cells to mature (differentiate) into normal cells.
In children with high-risk neuroblastoma, treatment with a retinoid called 13-cis-retinoic acid (isotretinoin) reduces the risk of recurrence after high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplant. Most doctors now recommend 6 months of 13-cis-retinoic acid once a transplant is completed. It is taken as a capsule, twice a day for 2 weeks, followed by 2 weeks off.
Researchers are now trying to develop more effective retinoids and to define the exact role of this approach in the treatment of neuroblastoma.
Possible side effects
The most common side effect of 13-cis-retinoic acid is drying and cracking of the lips. Dry skin or eyes are also possible, as are nosebleeds and changes in the nails.
Last Medical Review: 10/29/2012
Last Revised: 01/17/2013