Neuroblastoma is a solid tumor that mainly affects young persons and can be very difficult to treat successfully. Although a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery can help patients with advanced disease achieve remission, many patients experience a relapse of their disease. Doctors are continually pursuing new, more effective therapies.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of high-dose 3F8 combined with GM-CSF compared with standard-dose 3F8 for treating neuroblastoma that has a high risk of returning in patients who already had conventional therapy. Researchers also want to see if the 3F8 antibody works against a very small amount of neuroblastoma (minimal residual disease) remaining in the bone marrow.
3F8 has been shown to kill cancer cells in some patients. This antibody attaches to neuroblastoma cells and helps focus a patient’s own immune system — especially white blood cells — to attack the neuroblastoma cells. Granulocytes make up one class of white blood cells. GM-CSF increases the number of granulocytes, and makes them better killers of cancer cells.