The presence of the protein KIF1Bβ can play a central role for the outcome of a neuroblastoma diagnosis
A high percentage of KIF1Bβ means a greater chance of the tumour spontaneously regressing and disappearing. These are the results of a study by Karolinska Institutet (KI) and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Ltd. The study is to be published in the scientific journal Genes and Development.
Neuroblastoma is the third most common form of childhood cancer and causes almost 15 per cent of all cancer-related deaths in children. This high mortality fully reflects both the aggressive nature of the disease and that it often gives rise to secondary tumours (metastases). Paradoxically enough, neuroblastoma also has the highest spontaneous regression frequency of all tumoural diseases.
In the present study, the researchers showed that absence of KIF1Bβ contributes to normal neuroblasts not maturing into nerve cells and to a more immature neuroblastoma with a poorer prognosis.