Leukemia is the most commonly occurring cancer among children. However, the relative rarity of the disease makes the study of the environmental and genetic risk factors challenging. A group of independent, international researchers from ten countries established the Childhood Leukemia International Consortium (CLIC) in 2007 to overcome the limitations of individual studies, and support combined research projects to investigate the etiology of childhood leukemia. As of November 2013, CLIC comprise of 33 childhood leukemia case-control studies worldwide from 17 countries (24 principal investigators) representing approximately 38,000 cases and 262,000 controls (about half of which have comprehensive epidemiologic data and biospecimens). The annual in person meetings of the CLIC consortium provide an important opportunity for CLIC investigators and other members, to discuss ongoing collaborative analyses, outline new research directions, and develop future projects. They also provide a forum for building and strengthening collegial working relationships among researchers from different countries. As a result, CLIC has been extremely successful over the past seven years in conducting nine ongoing pooled analyses of environmental and genetic factors (ten additional projects have been proposed in 2013) and in setting the preliminary steps for establishing a sustainable central data repository. The CLIC Data Center, which is currently hosted at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), in Lyon (France) is critical to maintain harmonized data and documentation, and to efficiently conduct future CLIC studies. In order to continue the support the CLIC research and infrastructure agenda, we propose to hold CLIC meetings annually. Specifically, the primary objective of the 2014 CLIC Scientific Meeting is to set new research directions and priorities for each of the CLIC Interest Groups. The secondary objective is to provide in-person working sessions for members (senior and junior investigators) to collaborate on nine current and ten proposed pooled analyses. Much of the preparatory work for these analyses is conducted in these in-person meetings;however, most of the CLIC members are not fully funded to work on CLIC activities, which impede regular exchange of ideas. The third objective is to discuss progress for the establishment of the CLIC Data Center, data sharing procedures, and specific issues related to harmonization study variables. The fourth objective is to provide and engage in educational presentations with experts in epidemiology, tumor biology, biostatistics, and other disciplines relevant to childhood leukemia research.
Although leukemia is the most frequent cancer occurring among children, its relative rarity makes the study of environmental and genetic risk factors challenging The Childhood Leukemia International Consortium (CLIC) consists of a group of independent and international researchers who are committed to pooling resources and data with the ultimate goal of understanding the causes of childhood leukemia and identifying targets for intervention and prevention. The annual meetings of the CLIC consortium provides an opportunity for CLIC investigators, and other members, to develop collaborative projects and data analyses;build collegial working relationships among researchers from different countries;build sustainable infrastructure for a central data repository, provide guidance and forums for discussion, development, and pursuit of new research directions.