Neuroblastoma (NBL) is the most common extracranial solid tumor in childhood. Despite intense treatment, children with this high-risk disease have a poor prognosis. Immunotherapy showed a significant improvement in event-free survival in high-risk NBL patients receiving chimeric anti-GD2 in combination with cytokines and isotretinoin after myeloablative consolidation therapy. However, response to immunotherapy varies widely, and often therapy is stopped due to severe toxicities. Objective markers that help to predict which patients will respond or develop toxicity to a certain treatment are lacking. Immunotherapy guided via immune monitoring protocols will help to identify responders as early as possible, to decipher the immune response at play, and to adjust or develop new treatment strategies. In this review, we summarize recent studies investigating frequency and phenotype of immune cells in NBL patients prior and during current treatment protocols and highlight how these findings are related to clinical outcome. In addition, we discuss potential targets to improve immunogenicity and strategies that may help to improve therapy efficacy. We conclude that immune monitoring during therapy of NBL patients is essential to identify predictive biomarkers to guide patients towards effective treatment, with limited toxicities and optimal quality of life.
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