For over 35 years, the Forbeck Foundation has helped transform the way researchers communicate in order to accelerate progress in cancer treatments

Impact and Key Objectives

From our very first Forum in 1985, cancer research has benefitted from the Forbeck Impact. The first annual Forum led to the creation of the International Neuroblastoma Staging System (INSS). Up until then, each clinic had its own measuring system, making the results impossible to share.

Some measures of impact are numerical. For example, since its inception, the Foundation has funded and organized:

  • 65+ Forums and Focus Groups in Hilton Head, SC, Lake Geneva, WI, and various locations around the globe
  • 4 International Neuroblastoma meetings with 6 publications from INSS/INRG
  • Funding for the creation of the Interactive International Research Group database (iNRGdb)
  • Participation by over 650 scientists and clinicians from over 22 countries
  • Founded the Neuroblastoma Consortium
  • 3 Collaborative Research Projects
  • Sponsor Advances in Neuroblastoma Research (ANR) seminal bi-annual Neuroblastoma Meeting
  • Formation of the Society for Functional Precision Medicine
  • Countless papers and collaborations

Past meeting participants and Forbeck Scholars are welcome to submit a Forum topic to the Foundation. The Scientific Advisory Board will review the topic proposals on a quarterly basis. Not all requests will be approved. The key objectives of the meetings seek to:

  • Establish new and novel approaches in research to improve detection, treatment and cure rates in cancer.
  • Bridge the gap between institutions and scientific specializations to advance treatment.
  • Expediting cancer research by forming new and lasting collaborations and relationships with fellow scientists.

Logistics of the meetings will be handled by the Foundation to minimize the burden of organizing a meeting. Topic, participants, and scientific direction of the meeting are the focus of the chairs. The Scientific Advisory Board of WGFRF will oversee the approval of the meetings and participant lists. Before submitting your request, please check our current meetings and past meetings to avoid any duplicates.

submit a topic

International Neuroblastoma Risk Group

The Development of the INSS and INRG

The first Forbeck Forum, held in 1985, identified an important gap in the neuroblastoma field. Doctors in different clinics, in the United States and internationally, each had their own measures for monitoring neuroblastoma growth and response to treatment. This led to the creation of the International Neuroblastoma Staging System (INSS) – which has also been known as the ‘Forbeck Criteria’.  INSS also founded a group of international clinicians and scientists, the International Neuroblastoma Risk Group (INRG), that has continued to expand and – with the Foundation’s support – meets periodically to review and update the INSS.

The Development of the INRG Database (INRGdb)

The INRG, with funding from the Forbeck Foundation and others, developed an interactive website to allow investigators to query the database which now has over 20,000 international patients. Now, for the first time, researchers wanting to study specific aspects of neuroblastoma are able to directly query this rich database and also immediately know which patient’s samples are available. This was established as the Interactive INRG database (INRGdb) in 2011 and is housed at the University of Chicago. The database now interfaces directly with the Children’s Oncology Group Tumor Bank in Columbus, Ohio.

The database has already produced many research papers but one of the greatest achievements of the database has been to lower toxicity levels of patient treatment. By mining the database, physicians are able to better treat patients.

Learn more about the INRG Database by visiting

The vision of the William Guy Forbeck Research Foundation is to see cures for all cancers, especially neuroblastoma and other childhood malignancies.

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