Risk-based treatment approaches for neuroblastoma have been ongoing for decades. However, the criteria used to define risk in various institutional and cooperative groups were disparate, limiting the ability to compare clinical trial results. To mitigate this problem and enhance collaborative research, homogenous pretreatment patient cohorts have been defined by the International Neuroblastoma Risk Group classification system. During the past 30 years, increasingly intensive, multimodality approaches have been developed to treat patients who are classified as high risk, whereas patients with low- or intermediate-risk neuroblastoma have received reduced therapy. This treatment approach has resulted in improved outcome, although survival for high-risk patients remains poor, emphasizing the need for more effective treatments. Increased knowledge regarding the biology and genetic basis of neuroblastoma has led to the discovery of druggable targets and promising, new therapeutic approaches. Collaborative efforts of institutions and international cooperative groups have led to advances in our understanding of neuroblastoma biology, refinements in risk classification, and stratified treatment strategies, resulting in improved outcome. International collaboration will be even more critical when evaluating therapies designed to treat small cohorts of patients with rare actionable mutations.
© 2015 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.