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Neonatal neuroblastoma and in utero exposure to progestagens


We report a case of neonatal neuroblastoma occurring in a boy who had been exposed in utero to progestagens. The potential role of therapeutic products administered during pregnancy in the occurrence of neuroblastoma is reviewed, with emphasis on sex hormones and in particular progestagens.

Despite the recognition of the fact that neuroblastoma is the most frequent solid tumour in the first year of life and also that treatments with progestagens in pregnancy are common in several countries, therefore potentially leading to co‐incidental association, some arguments in favour of a causal link come from the few epidemiological studies validly assessing this association. Also discussed is a possible association of childhood malignancy with threatened abortion or uterine contractions, as some sort of disturbed hormonal status may be a risk factor for both threatened abortion and child cancer.