The most important factor, she said, is knowing whether people who have this mutation have more or less aggressive cancer. "This study has identified the mutation, but doesn't correlate it with outcome. It's a good first step in our understanding of the disease, but we need to understand the long- and short-term outcomes in people with this mutation," she added.
This isn't the first study to link genetic similarities in neuroblastomas. Another study, reported in 2009 in the journal Nature, compared the genes of people with and without neuroblastomas and found that a specific "copy number variation" -- a kind of genetic trait -- doubles the risk of a child developing the disease.
Learn more about neuroblastoma from the U.S. National Cancer Institute.
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