Researchers have discovered a gene alteration linking patient age with increased neuroblastoma risk. Using genome sequencing techniques scientists identified the first gene mutation that leads to neuroblastoma, alluding to a genetic theory for why treatment outcomes are relational to age of diagnosis. Neuroblastoma is a form of cancer that begins in certain types of primitive nerve cells. The study monitored 104 infants, children and young adults with an advanced form of the condition and found that the mutation in the ATRX gene was only present in patients aged five and over. Most mutations occurred in patients aged 12 and older, with those who were older more likely to die years after diagnosis. Co-author Dr Richard Wilson explained that, should the results be confirmed, it could change the way that doctors think about cancer and age. Find the nearest Barchester care home.