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Neuroblastoma Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy stimulates your child's immune system to attack tumor cells. Neuroblastoma immunotherapy utilizes anti-GD2 (Dinutuximab beta EUSA/Qarziba®): an antibody against a specific protein of the neuroblastoma tumor cell. Anti-GD2 helps a patient’s immune system recognize and destroy tumor cells more effectively. Qarziba is administered in combination with medication that supports the immune system, namely IL-2 and GM-CSF.

Immunotherapy is standardly incorporated in the treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma patients who undergo treatment that observes the guidelines of the neuroblastoma professionals from the Dutch Children's Oncology Foundation (SKION). This immunotherapy is the last phase of the treatment after chemotherapy, surgery, autologous stem cell transplantation and radiotherapy. The treatment is for high-risk patients who meet the agreed qualification criteria.

 
Treatment

Treatment comprises five hospital admissions within six months, each lasting for approximately a week. Children who qualify for immunotherapy are supervised by a separate team of pediatric oncologists and nursing specialists who, among other things, provide comprehensive information in the run-up to this treatment.

 
Aftercare

The potential side effects from immunotherapy differ from the side effects of chemotherapy. The administration of Qarziba can cause pain during immunotherapy. We provide effective pain relief for this. Other known side effects of immunotherapy include allergic reactions. Allergic reactions often respond well to treatment, but, in a few instances, they can lead to the discontinuation of the medication or to hospitalization in Intensive Care for additional support and monitoring.

 

Questions?

You can ask the pediatrician or nursing specialist any questions you may have about immunotherapy.