Children's cancer group recommends global evaluation system for neuroblastoma to improve treatment

December 9, 2008

An international coalition of pediatric cancer physicians and researchers has developed new systems to standardize studies of neuroblastomas across the world. In the December issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the International Neuroblastoma Risk Group (INRG) presents three sets of papers outlining a: standard classification system; pre-treatment staging system; and an analysis of a rare group of patients.

The INRG studies provide for a unified system of clinical trials that will enable quicker identification of optimal treatments for neuroblastoma.

Neuroblastoma is the most common solid cancer that occurs outside the cranium during childhood. For some young children, it disappears with minimal treatment. In other children, it can be relentlessly aggressive, with a high likelihood of death. Predicting the behavior of this tumor is crucial in planning appropriate treatment.

The INRG task force is co-chaired by Susan Cohn, professor and director of clinical sciences at the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital, and Andrew Pearson, chairman of paediatric oncology at the Institute of Cancer Research at Royal Marsden Hospital in the UK.

Cohn says that in the past, criteria used to predict tumor behavior and stratify treatment have not been uniform throughout the world, which makes it impossible to directly compare clinical trial results. The INRG classification system is designed to create consistency of risk group assignment around the globe, and will facilitate clinical research.

"We strongly recommend that cooperative groups begin using this classification system now," Cohn says.

"The system will allow the direct comparison of results from clinical trials conducted in different regions of the world and will help us determine the best treatment strategies for patients with neuroblastoma," she adds. "By working together, physicians will be able to ask questions about treatment approaches that would otherwise not be possible to ask in a single cooperative group or country because of the small numbers of patients. We plan to continue to expand this database, and as new molecular tools are developed to test cancer genetics, the INRG Classification System will be refined."

Source: University of Chicago Medical Center

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Study tracks evolutionary transition to destructive cancer

February 23, 2018
Evolution describes how all living forms cope with challenges in their environment, as they struggle to persevere against formidable odds. Mutation and selective pressure—cornerstones of Darwin's theory—are the means ...

Researchers use a molecular Trojan horse to deliver chemotherapeutic drug to cancer cells

February 23, 2018
A research team at the University of California, Riverside has discovered a way for chemotherapy drug paclitaxel to target migrating, or circulating, cancer cells, which are responsible for the development of tumor metastases.

Lab-grown 'mini tumours' could personalise cancer treatment

February 23, 2018
Testing cancer drugs on miniature replicas of a patient's tumour could help doctors tailor treatment, according to new research.

An under-the-radar immune cell shows potential in fight against cancer

February 23, 2018
One of the rarest of immune cells, unknown to scientists a decade ago, might prove to be a potent weapon in stopping cancer from spreading in the body, according to new research from the University of British Columbia.

Putting black skin cancer to sleep—for good

February 22, 2018
An international research team has succeeded in stopping the growth of malignant melanoma by reactivating a protective mechanism that prevents tumor cells from dividing. The team used chemical agents to block the enzymes ...

Cancer risk associated with key epigenetic changes occurring through normal aging process

February 22, 2018
Some scientists have hypothesized that tumor-promoting changes in cells during cancer development—particularly an epigenetic change involving DNA methylation—arise from rogue cells escaping a natural cell deterioration ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.