The European Inter-Group for Childhood and Adolescent Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma was established in the nineties at one of the Lugano meetings by Angelo Rosolen† and Luigi Zanesco (Italy), Catherine Patte and Laurence Brugières (France), Denise Williams and Ross Pinkerton (UK), Inge Appel (The Netherlands), Ildiko Marky (Sweden) and Alfred Reiter (Germany) with relapsed ALCL as the first common project. Subsequently, in Padua (1996), risk factor analyses in ALCL previously conducted by Marie Cecile Deley (published in Blood 2008) became the basis of a proposal for a cooperative trial in front-line ALCL, later named ALCL99.
A formal structure for EICNHL was established in 1999 at a meeting in Stockholm whereby Catherine Patte and Alfred Reiter became the first chairs and Angelo Rosolen† the secretary of the group. This led the way to the establishment of further cooperative clinical trials including EuroLB02 for lymphoblastic lymphoma in 2002, which was finalized at a meeting in Paris. In 2007 at a meeting in Cambridge, there was a change in structure of the group with Denise Williams elected as chair, Laurence Brugières as co-chair and Amos Burke as secretary. During their presidency, more and more collaborations were established with the International BFM-NHL group, chaired in succession by Angelo Rosolen†, Jan Sterba and Andishe Attarbaschi and focusing on rare lymphomas. A new B-NHL protocol (Inter-ritux 2010) was developed in collaboration with the Children’s Oncology Group (COG). In addition, the BFM and Nordic countries (NOPHO) developed a second B-NHL protocol, partly based on their first window study with rituximab.
In Athens, April 2016, at the joint EICNHL-iBFM meeting Auke Beishuizen, was elected as chair, Karin Mellgren, as co-chair and Suzanne Turner as biology chair, the latter appointment reflecting the increasing need for associated biological studies and translational science in the design and conduct of clinical trials.
The EICNHL organisation is a network for therapeutic trials in (relapsed) NHL. All data are collected at individual national databases and sent to an international data centre. Randomisation takes place either within the national or international data centres with each collaborating group having their own national sponsor and principal investigator. An international steering committee is assigned as well as an international, independent data monitoring committee. The NHL samples are reviewed by an international pathology panel. Biological studies linked to a NHL protocol are run in parallel. There is voluntary participation by each country and each has to arrange their own funding. The EICNHL meetings are at least once if not twice a year and are often combined with iBFM meetings.