MYCN Amplification in Neuroblastoma: a Paradigm for the Clinical Use of an Oncogene

Manfred SCHWAB

Division of Cytogenetics, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany


Increase of the dosage of cellular oncogenes by DNA amplification is a frequent genetic alteration of cancer cells. The presence of amplified cellular oncogenes is usually signalled by conspicuous chromosomal abnormalities, ''double minutes'' (DMs) or ''homogeneously staining chromsomal regions'' (HSRs). Some human cancers carry a specific amplified oncogene at high incidence. In neuroblastomas the amplification of MYCN has been found associated with aggressively growing cancers and is an indicator for poor prognosis. MYCN amplification is of predictive value for identifying neuroblastoma patiens that require specific therapeutic regimens and for identifying patients that will not benefit from chemotherapy. Pathology & Oncology Research, Vol 3, Nr 1, 3-7, 1997

Key words: neuroblastoma; N-Myc; prediction, therapy

Received: Mar 11, 1997; accepted: Apr 3, 1997
Correspondence: Manfred SCHWAB, Division of Cytogenetics, German Cancer Research Center, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280 Heidelberg D-69120, Germany; Tel: 49 6221423220, Fax: 49 6221423277; E-mail:

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