Neuroblastoma is a tumor with great clinical heterogeneity. Patients in North America are risk-stratified using a number of features including age at diagnosis, disease stage, tumor histology, MYCN
status (amplified versus nonamplified), and tumor cell ploidy. In this paper, we review the evidence for utilizing these features in the risk classification of neuroblastic tumors. Additionally, we review the clinical and biologic criteria used by various cooperative groups to define low, intermediate, and high-risk disease populations in clinical trials, highlighting the differences in risk classification internationally. Finally, we discuss the development of the International Neuroblastoma Risk Group classification system, designed to begin worldwide standardization of neuroblastoma pretreatment risk classification and allow comparison of clinical trials conducted through different cooperative groups.
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