The International Neuroblastoma Risk Group (INRG) task force has created a new classification system of data of approximately 11,000 children from around the world with neuroblastoma, and is currently working to make the system interactive to allow researchers to link to external databases.
“Neuroblastoma is complex, and the clinical behavior of the tumor and response to therapy vary with every patient. To make meaningful progress we needed to take advantage of all the clinical and biologic research that is being conducted throughout the world,” explained Susan L. Cohn, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Clinical Research, Section of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the University of Chicago Medicine. “The INRG Classification System defines homogenous pretreatment patient cohorts, greatly facilitating the comparison of risk-based clinical trials conducted in different regions of the world and the development of international collaborative studies.”
When completed, the database, which is funded by a grant from the St. Baldrick's Foundation, will be publicly available. The project will enable research on the biology and clinical behavior of this common pediatric cancer not possible in smaller populations of patients, and researchers from around the world will have access to the data.
Cohn is co-chairing the project with Andrew Pearson, MD, Cancer Research UK Professor of Paediatric Oncology at the Institute of Cancer Research, and Samuel Volchenboum, MD, PhD, MS, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Chicago Medicine.
Cohn added that using current resources available through the Chicago Initiative in Biomedical Informatics at the University of Chicago, INRG has successfully established links between the database and the Children's Oncology Group Biobank, and efforts to link the INRG database with genomic databases are under way.