What is the INRG Classification System?
To facilitate clinical research and improve the outcome of children with neuroblastoma, investigators from the major cooperative groups (the Children’s Oncology Group [COG], the German Gesellschaft für Pädiatrische Onkologie und Hämatologie [GPOH], the Japanese Advanced Neuroblastoma Study Group [JANB], the Japanese Infantile Neuroblastoma Co-operative Study Group [JINCS], Society of Paediatric Oncology Europe Neuroblastoma Group [SIOPEN]) with expertise in neuroblastoma established a task force to develop a consensus pre-treatment International Neuroblastoma Risk Group (INRG) classification system. To accomplish this goal, the task force collected data on 36 prognostic variables on over 11,500 children enrolled on cooperative group studies between 1980-2002. The INRG classification system is based on analysis of the 8,800 diagnosed between 1990 and 2002, and includes the seven factors that were highly statistically significant and also considered clinically relevant, and details of the INRG classification system are published (Cohn SL, Pearson ADJ, London WB, Monclair T, Ambros PF, Brodeur GM, Faldum A, Hero B, Iehara T, Machin D, Mosseri V, Simon T, and Matthay KK for the INRG Task Force. The International Neuroblastoma Risk Group (INRG) classification system: an INRG Task Force report. J. Clin. Oncol., 27:289-297, 2009).
What is the INRG Database?
The INRG task force has established a database containing information on over 22,000 children with neuroblastoma from around the world. These data are available to investigators from around the world for data mining studies, and significant discoveries have already been made using this unique resource.
The patient data included in this database continues to expand. Cooperative groups have agreed to update existing patient data and add new patient data once clinical trials are completed and the objectives of the trial are published. In addition, efforts to add data on relapsed patients as well as new genomic data including ALK mutations and segmental chromosomal aberrations are ongoing. Radiographic and pathology imaging data will also be uploaded in the future. The architecture housing the database has been transformed to a new web-based system with technology that enables linkage with other databases. This new ecosystem, the INRG Data Commons, has enabled the connection of the phenotype data to the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Biopathology Center at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital that contains banked neuroblastoma tumor tissue from COG patients. Links to genomic data in GEO and TARGET have also been established. Thus, in addition to clinical information, investigators are now able to determine if banked tumor tissue or genomic data are available for research studies on specific cohorts of patients. We anticipate that the INRG Data Commons will facilitate international, multi-institutional, interdisciplinary research in childhood neuroblastoma, advance our understanding of the pathogenesis of this neoplasm, and ultimately lead to the development of more effective treatment strategies for children with neuroblastoma.