The UK NSC recommendation on Neuroblastoma screening in infants

Recommendation Systematic population screening programme not recommended
Last review completed January 2016
Next review due in 2018/19
Key downloads

Find general information about population health screening.

Why is screening not recommended by UK NSC?

  • there is no evidence of a screening test that would only detect people with Neuroblastoma needing treatment
  • some low quality studies suggest screening at a later age may ensure only children who would benefit from treatment are detected. However no high quality studies have assessed the effect of screening at 18 months. This is either compared to no screening, or to screening at six or 12 months
  • no studies addressed the main concern that screening could lead to treating more people who would not have needed treatment
  • ultimately, there is no evidence that screening would reduce deaths from neuroblastoma

More about Neuroblastoma

Neuroblastoma is a malignant childhood cancer and leukaemia of the sympathetic nervous system. Most tumours arise from the centre (medulla) of the adrenal gland which lies above the kidney. Other sites of the disease include the chest, the spine and the pelvis. Some tumours may disappear without treatment.

» Read more about neuroblastoma on NHS Choices


The British Association for Cancer Research
British Association of Surgical Oncology
Cancer Research UK
CLIC Sargent
Faculty of Public Health
The Henry Allen Trust
Institute of Child Health
The Neuroblastoma Society
Northern Ireland Cancer Network
Rarer Cancers Forum
Royal College of General Practitioners
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Royal College of Pathologists
Royal College of Physicians
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Royal College of Radiologists
Royal College of Surgeons
Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

The stakeholder groups will be involved when the recommendation is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us. More information for stakeholders can be found in appendix C of the UK NSC evidence review process.

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