We propose to conduct the first large case-control interview study of risk factors for childhood neuroblastoma. About 640 cases (under age 19 years at diagnosis) will be identified through the Childrens Cancer Study Group (CCSG) and the Pediatric Oncology Group (POG). Parents of cases and of 640 controls matched on age, sex, and race will be interviewed by telephone. Controls will be selected by random digit telephone dialing. The study will evaluate the relative importance of risk factors for neuroblastoma which were reported from previous studies. These include: maternal use of medications during pregnancy (specifically alcohol, diuretics and a group of drugs that includes amphetamines, antidepressants, antipsychotics and tranquilizers); parental employment in the electronics industry and occupational exposures to electromagnetic fields; maternal age at birth and subjects length of gestation and birth weight. The study will also evaluate drugs used by the mother during pregnancy for their potential to cause transplacental exposure of the fetus to N-nitroso compounds. Information on other potential risk factors such as family medical, gestational and delivery history will also be collected. It will examine the possibility of neuroblastoma having a similar set of risk factors in common with other childhood cancers. Since most of the patients have data collected on clinical, biologic and genetic markers, we will analyze the potential environmental risk factors separately for subgroups of patients defined by such characteristics as disease stage and N-myc oncogene amplification. This study can provide important new insights into the etiology of childhood cancer since neuroblastoma's pattern of occurrence in very early childhood suggests that parental or in utero exposures may play an important role in its etiology.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
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Epidemiology and Disease Control Subcommittee 2 (EDC)
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University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
Chapel Hill
United States
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