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Keywords:

  • childhood cancer;
  • classification;
  • cancer registries;
  • epidemiology

Abstract

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Rules Governing the ICCC-3
  4. The Classification
  5. DISCUSSION
  6. Acknowledgements
  7. REFERENCES

BACKGROUND

The third edition of the International Classification of Diseases for Oncology (ICD-O-3), which was published in 2000, introduced major changes in coding and classification of neoplasms, notably for leukemias and lymphomas, which are important groups of cancer types that occur in childhood. This necessitated a third revision of the 1996 International Classification of Childhood Cancer (ICCC-3).

METHODS

The tumor categories for the ICCC-3 were designed to respect several principles: agreement with current international standards, integration of the entities defined by newly developed diagnostic techniques, continuity with previous childhood classifications, and exhaustiveness.

RESULTS

The ICCC-3 classifies tumors coded according to the ICD-O-3 into 12 main groups, which are split further into 47 subgroups. These 2 levels of the ICCC-3 allow standardized comparisons of the broad categories of childhood neoplasms in continuity with the previous classifications. The 16 most heterogeneous subgroups are broken down further into 2–11 divisions to allow study of important entities or homogeneous collections of tumors characterized at the cytogenetic or molecular level. Some divisions may be combined across the higher-level categories, such as the B-cell neoplasms within leukemias and lymphomas.

CONCLUSIONS

The ICCC-3 respects currently existing international standards and was designed for use in international, population-based, epidemiological studies and cancer registries. The use of an international classification system is especially important in the field of pediatric oncology, in which the low frequency of cases requires rigorous procedures to ensure data comparability. Cancer 2005. © 2005 American Cancer Society.

It has been established firmly that, for children, classification of tumors should be based on morphology rather than, as in adults, the primary site of origin. The first internationally accepted classification of Birch and Marsden,1 which classified the tumors coded according to the International Classification of Diseases for Oncology (ICD-O),2 was used for the presentation of the comparative tables of incidence in International Incidence of Childhood Cancer, volume 1.3

The publication of the second edition of the ICD-O4 and the 10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases5 necessitated an update of the childhood classification to allow for the new and expanded coding of cancer which these have introduced. The resulting International Classification of Childhood Cancer6 became the standard for presentation of international data on childhood cancer incidence and survival.7–9

Ever-improving diagnostic methods, based increasingly on genetic studies and pathologic studies, have prompted a third edition of the ICD-O (ICD-O-3),10 which introduced numerous new morphology codes, in particular, for leukemias and lymphomas. To accommodate the acquired knowledge reflected in changes to the coding of neoplasms, we propose here the third edition of International Classification of Childhood Cancer (ICCC-3), based on the ICD-O-3.

To ensure that the ICCC-3 is adopted as the standard in cancer registries and also is accepted by oncologists for meaningful, population-based comparisons, the draft proposal was reviewed by experts from the fields of pathology, clinical pediatric oncology, and cancer registration. Their valuable comments contributed to the final version.

Rules Governing the ICCC-3

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Rules Governing the ICCC-3
  4. The Classification
  5. DISCUSSION
  6. Acknowledgements
  7. REFERENCES

A standard classification of tumors is essential for comparing incidence and survival across regions and time periods. The ICCC-3 is designed to facilitate presentation and comparison of population-based data on childhood cancer. The principles applied can be summarized as follows:

  • 1
    The ICCC-3 applies the rules, nomenclature, and codes (morphology, topography, and behavior) of the ICD-O-3.10
  • 2
    ICCC-3 categories are defined in conformity with international classifications of the pathology and genetics of neoplasms, notably, the series The World Health Organization Classification of Tumors.11–14
  • 3
    Although it accommodates new concepts of tumor histogenesis, the ICCC-3 provides continuity with previous classifications.
  • 4
    Three levels of hierarchical classification are developed: Level 1 (12 main diagnostic groups) and Level 2 (47 diagnostic subgroups) comprise the main classification table. Level 3 is an optional “extended classification” and comprises 2–11 divisions of selected diagnostic subgroups. This division of some diagnostic subgroups reflects the availability of detailed information that permits homogeneous groups of tumors to be distinguished within them and, thus, allows their separate study. However, it is preferable to keep these divisions optional and distinct from the main table, because their use will not always be possible (due to inadequate diagnostic methods) or of interest (due to small number of cases).
  • 5
    The “matrix” concept (Rule F) of the ICD-O-310 is respected, which means that, in theory, all morphology codes may occur in combination with any behavior code. Although all morphology codes listed in the ICD-O-3 are included in the conversion table, only the tumors with malignant behavior are classified in the ICCC-3, with the exception described in point 6:
  • 6
    Nonmalignant intracranial and intraspinal tumors are included in the ICCC-3, as in its predecessors.1, 6 Finally,
  • 7
    tumors that are known to occur only rarely in young patients also are included in the ICCC-3, because they may be encountered in a population-based cancer registry.

The Classification

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Rules Governing the ICCC-3
  4. The Classification
  5. DISCUSSION
  6. Acknowledgements
  7. REFERENCES

Table 1 assigns the combinations of morphology and topography codes of ICD-O-310 to ICCC-3 main diagnostic groups and subgroups. In Table 2, selected subgroups are classified further into divisions. The considerations for grouping the tumors are given below.

Table 1. International Classification of Childhood Cancer, Third Edition: Main Classification Table
Diagnostic groupICD-O-3 code(s)10
MorphologyTopography
  • ICD-O-3: International Classification of Diseases for Oncology, third edition; CNS: central nervous system.

  • a

    Tumors with nonmalignant behavior are included for all morphology codes on the line.

I. Leukemias, myeloproliferative diseases, and myelodysplastic diseases
 a. Lymphoid leukemias9820, 9823, 9826, 9827, 9831–9837, 9940, 9948 
 b. Acute myeloid leukemias9840, 9861, 9866, 9867, 9870–9874, 9891, 9895–9897, 9910, 9920, 9931 
 c. Chronic myeloproliferative diseases9863, 9875, 9876, 9950, 9960–9964 
 d. Myelodysplastic syndrome and other myeloproliferative diseases9945, 9946, 9975, 9980, 9982–9987, 9989 
 e. Unspecified and other specified leukemias9800, 9801, 9805, 9860, 9930 
II. Lymphomas and reticuloendothelial neoplasms
 a. Hodgkin lymphomas9650–9655, 9659, 9661–9665, 9667 
 b. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas (except Burkitt lymphoma)9591, 9670, 9671, 9673, 9675, 9678–9680, 9684, 9689–9691, 9695, 9698–9702, 9705, 9708, 9709, 9714, 9716–9719, 9727–9729, 9731–9734, 9760–9762, 9764–9769, 9970 
 c. Burkitt lymphoma9687 
 d. Miscellaneous lymphoreticular neoplasms9740–9742, 9750, 9754–9758 
 e. Unspecified lymphomas9590, 9596 
III. CNS and miscellaneous intracranial and intraspinal neoplasms
 a. Ependymomas and choroid plexus tumor9383, 9390–9394a 
 b. Astrocytomas9380aC72.3
 9384, 9400–9411, 9420, 9421–9424, 9440–9442a 
 c. Intracranial and intraspinal embryonal tumors9470–9474, 9480, 9508a 
 9501–9504aC70.0–C72.9
 d. Other gliomas9380aC70.0–C72.2, C72.4–C72.9, C75.1, C75.3
 9381, 9382, 9430, 9444, 9450, 9451, 9460a 
 e. Other specified intracranial and intraspinal neoplasms8270–8281, 8300, 9350–9352, 9360–9362, 9412, 9413, 9492, 9493, 9505–9507, 9530–9539, 9582a 
 f. Unspecified intracranial and intraspinal neoplasms8000–8005aC70.0–C72.9, C75.1–C75.3
IV. Neuroblastoma and other peripheral nervous cell tumors
 a. Neuroblastoma and ganglioneuroblastoma9490, 9500 
 b. Other peripheral nervous cell tumors8680–8683, 8690–8693, 8700, 9520–9523 
 9501–9504C00.0–C69.9, C73.9–C76.8, C80.9
V. Retinoblastoma9510–9514 
VI. Renal tumors  
 a. Nephroblastoma and other nonepithelial renal tumors8959, 8960, 8964–8967 
 8963, 9364C64.9
 b. Renal carcinomas8010–8041, 8050–8075, 8082, 8120–8122, 8130–8141, 8143, 8155, 8190–8201, 8210, 8211, 8221–8231, 8240, 8241, 8244–8246, 8260–8263, 8290, 8310, 8320, 8323, 8401, 8430, 8440, 8480–8490, 8504, 8510, 8550, 8560–8576C64.9
 8311, 8312, 8316–8319, 8361 
 c. Unspecified malignant renal tumors8000–8005C64.9
VII. Hepatic tumors
 a. Hepatoblastoma8970 
 b. Hepatic carcinomas8010–8041, 8050–8075, 8082, 8120–8122, 8140, 8141, 8143, 8155, 8190–8201, 8210, 8211, 8230, 8231, 8240, 8241, 8244–8246, 8260–8264, 8310, 8320, 8323, 8401, 8430, 8440, 8480–8490, 8504, 8510, 8550, 8560–8576C22.0, C22.1
 8160–8180 
 c. Unspecified malignant hepatic tumors8000–8005C22.0, C22.1
VIII. Malignant bone tumors  
 a. Osteosarcomas9180–9187, 9191–9195, 9200C40.0–C41.9, C76.0–C76.8, C80.9
 b. Chondrosarcomas9210, 9220, 9240C40.0–C41.9, C76.0–C76.8, C80.9
 9221, 9230, 9241–9243 
 c. Ewing tumor and related sarcomas of bone9260C40.0–C41.9, C76.0–C76.8, C80.9
 9363–9365C40.0–C41.9
 d. Other specified malignant bone tumors8810, 8811, 8823, 8830C40.0–C41.9
 8812, 9250, 9261, 9262, 9270–9275, 9280–9282, 9290, 9300–9302, 9310–9312, 9320–9322, 9330, 9340–9342, 9370–9372 
 e. Unspecified malignant bone tumors8000–8005, 8800, 8801, 8803–8805C40.0–C41.9
IX. Soft tissue and other extraosseous sarcomas
 a. Rhabdomyosarcomas8900–8905, 8910, 8912, 8920, 8991 
 b. Fibrosarcomas, peripheral nerve sheath tumors, and other fibrous neoplasms8810, 8811, 8813–8815, 8821, 8823, 8834–8835C00.0–C39.9, C44.0–C76.8, C80.9
 8820, 8822, 8824–8827, 9150, 9160, 9491, 9540–9571, 9580 
 c. Kaposi sarcoma9140 
 d. Other specified soft tissue sarcomas8587, 8710–8713, 8806, 8831–8833, 8836, 8840–8842, 8850–8858, 8860–8862, 8870, 8880, 8881, 8890–8898, 8921, 8982, 8990, 9040–9044, 9120–9125, 9130–9133, 9135, 9136, 9141, 9142, 9161, 9170–9175, 9231, 9251, 9252, 9373, 9581 
 8830C00.0–C39.9, C44.0–C76.8, C80.9
 8963C00.0–C63.9, C65.9–C69.9, C73.9–C76.8, C80.9
 9180, 9210, 9220, 9240C49.0–C49.9
 9260C00.0–C39.9, C47.0–C75.9
 9364C00.0–C39.9, C47.0–C63.9, C65.9–C69.9, C73.9–C76.8, C80.9
 9365C00.0–C39.9, C47.0–C63.9, C65.9–C76.8, C80.9
 e. Unspecified soft tissue sarcomas8800–8805C00.0–C39.9, C44.0–C76.8,
X. Germ cell tumors, trophoblastic tumors, and neoplasms of gonads
 a. Intracranial and intraspinal germ cell tumors9060–9065, 9070–9072, 9080–9085, 9100, 9101aC70.0–C72.9, C75.1–C75.3
 b. Malignant extracranial and extragonadal germ cell tumors9060–9065, 9070–9072, 9080–9085, 9100–9105C00.0–C55.9, C57.0–C61.9, C63.0–C69.9, C73.9–C75.0, C75.4–C76.8, C80.9
 c. Malignant gonadal germ cell tumors9060–9065, 9070–9073, 9080–9085, 9090, 9091, 9100, 9101C56.9, C62.0–C62.9
 d. Gonadal carcinomas8010–8041, 8050–8075, 8082, 8120–8122, 8130–8141, 8143, 8190–8201, 8210, 8211, 8221–8241, 8244–8246, 8260–8263, 8290, 8310, 8313, 8320, 8323, 8380–8384, 8430, 8440, 8480–8490, 8504, 8510, 8550, 8560–8573, 9000, 9014, 9015C56.9, C62.0–C62.9
 8441–8444, 8450, 8451, 8460–8473 
 e. Other and unspecified malignant gonadal tumors8590–8671 
 8000–8005C56.9, C62.0–C62.9
XI. Other malignant epithelial neoplasms and malignant melanomas
 a. Adrenocortical carcinomas8370–8375 
 b. Thyroid carcinomas8010–8041, 8050–8075, 8082, 8120–8122, 8130–8141, 8190, 8200, 8201, 8211, 8230, 8231, 8244–8246, 8260–8263, 8290, 8310, 8320, 8323, 8430, 8440, 8480, 8481, 8510, 8560–8573C73.9
 8330–8337, 8340–8347, 8350 
 c. Nasopharyngeal carcinomas8010–8041, 8050–8075, 8082, 8083, 8120–8122, 8130–8141, 8190, 8200, 8201, 8211, 8230, 8231, 8244–8246, 8260–8263, 8290, 8310, 8320, 8323, 8430, 8440, 8480, 8481, 8500–8576C11.0–C11.9
 d. Malignant melanomas8720–8780, 8790 
 e. Skin carcinomas8010–8041, 8050–8075, 8078, 8082, 8090–8110, 8140, 8143, 8147, 8190, 8200, 8240, 8246, 8247, 8260, 8310, 8320, 8323, 8390–8420, 8430, 8480, 8542, 8560, 8570–8573, 8940, 8941C44.0–C44.9
 f. Other and unspecified carcinomas8010–8084, 8120–8157, 8190–8264, 8290, 8310, 8313–8315, 8320–8325, 8360, 8380–8384, 8430–8440, 8452–8454, 8480–8586, 8588–8589, 8940, 8941, 8983, 9000, 9010–9016, 9020, 9030C00.0–C10.9, C12.9–C21.8, C23.9–C39.9, C48.0–C48.8, C50.0–C55.9, C57.0–C61.9, C63.0–C63.9, C65.9–C72.9, C75.0–C76.8, C80.9
XII. Other and unspecified malignant neoplasms
 a. Other specified malignant tumors8930–8936, 8950, 8951, 8971–8981, 9050–9055, 9110 
 9363C00.0–C39.9, C47.0–C75.9
 b. Other unspecified malignant tumors8000–8005C00.0–C21.8, C23.9–C39.9, C42.0–C55.9, C57.0–C61.9, C63.0–C63.9, C65.9–C69.9, C73.9–C75.0, C75.4–C80.9
Table 2. International Classification of Childhood Cancer, Third Edition: Extended Classification Table
ICCC-3 divisionICD-O-3 code(s)10
MorphologyTopography
  • ICCC-3: International Classification of Childhood Cancer ICD-O-3: International Classification of Diseases for Oncology, third edition; NOS: not otherwise specified; NK cell: natural killer cell; PNET: primitive neuroectodermal tumor; pPNET: peripheral PNET.

  • a

    Burkitt lymphoma (IIc), as a mature B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma, may be pooled with IIb2 for overall presentation of B-cell lymphomas.

  • b

    9702 “T-cell lymphoma, NOS” in a child almost always corresponds to code M9729.

  • c

    Tumors with nonmalignant behavior are included for all morphology codes on the line.

Ia. Lymphoid leukemias
 1. Precursor cell leukemias9835, 9836, 9837 
 2. Mature B-cell leukemias9823, 9826, 9832, 9833, 9940 
 3. Mature T-cell and NK cell leukemias9827, 9831, 9834, 9948 
 4. Lymphoid leukemia, NOS9820 
IIb. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas
 1. Precursor cell lymphomas9727, 9728, 9729 
 2. Mature B-cell lymphomas (except Burkitt lymphoma)a9670, 9671, 9673, 9675, 9678–9680, 9684, 9689–9691, 9695, 9698, 9699, 9731–9734, 9761, 9762, 9764–9766, 9769, 9970 
 3. Mature T-cell and NK-cell lymphomas9700–9702,b 9705, 9708, 9709, 9714, 9716–9719, 9767, 9768 
 4. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas, NOS9591, 9760 
IIIa. Ependymomas and choroid plexus tumor
 1. Ependymomas9383, 9391–9394c 
 2. Choroid plexus tumor9390c 
IIIc. Intracranial and intraspinal embryonal tumors
 1. Medulloblastomas9470–9472, 9474, 9480c 
 2. PNET9473c 
 3. Medulloepithelioma9501–9504cC70.0–C72.9
 4. Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor9508c 
IIId. Other gliomas
 1. Oligodendrogliomas9450, 9451, 9460c 
 2. Mixed and unspecified gliomas9380cC70.0–C72.2, C72.4–C72.9, C75.1, C75.3
 9382c 
 3. Neuroepithelial glial tumors of uncertain origin9381, 9430, 9444c 
IIIe. Other specified intracranial and intraspinal neoplasms
 1. Pituitary adenomas and carcinomas8270–8281, 8300c 
 2. Tumors of the sellar region (craniopharyngiomas)9350–9352, 9582c 
 3. Pineal parenchymal tumors9360–9362c 
 4. Neuronal and mixed neuronal-glial tumors9412, 9413, 9492, 9493, 9505–9507c 
 5. Meningiomas9530–9539c 
VIa. Nephroblastoma and other nonepithelial renal tumors
 1. Nephroblastoma8959, 8960 
 2. Rhabdoid renal tumor8963C64.9
 3. Kidney sarcomas8964–8967 
 4. pPNET of kidney9364C64.9
VIIIc. Ewing tumor and related sarcomas of bone
 1. Ewing tumor and Askin tumor of bone9260C40.0–C41.9, C76.0–C76.8, C80.9
 9365C40.0–C41.9
 2. pPNET of bone9363, 9364C40.0–C41.9
VIIId. Other specified malignant bone tumors
 1. Malignant fibrous neoplasms of bone8810, 8811, 8823, 8830C40.0–C41.9
 8812, 9262 
 2. Malignant chordomas9370–9372 
 3. Odontogenic malignant tumors9270–9275, 9280–9282, 9290, 9300–9302, 9310–9312, 9320–9322, 9330, 9340–9342 
 4. Miscellaneous malignant bone tumors9250, 9261 
IXb. Fibrosarcomas, peripheral nerve sheath tumors, and other fibromatous neoplasms  
 1. Fibroblastic and myofibroblastic tumors8810, 8811, 8813–8815, 8821, 8823, 8834–8835C00.0–C39.9, C44.0–C76.8, C80.9
 8820, 8822, 8824–8827, 9150, 9160 
 2. Nerve sheath tumors9540–9571 
 3. Other fibromatous neoplasms9491, 9580 
IXd. Other specified soft tissue sarcomas
 1. Ewing tumor and Askin tumor of soft tissue9260C00.0–C39.9, C47.0–C75.9
 9365C00.0–C39.9, C47.0–C63.9, C65.9–C76.8, C80.9
 2. pPNET of soft tissue9364C00.0–C39.9, C47.0–C63.9, C65.9–C69.9, C73.9–C76.8, C80.9
 3. Extrarenal rhabdoid tumor8963C00.0–C63.9, C65.9–C69.9, C73.9–C76.8, C80.9
 4. Liposarcomas8850–8858, 8860–8862, 8870, 8880, 8881 
 5. Fibrohistiocytic tumors8830C00.0–C39.9, C44.0–C76.8, C80.9
 8831–8833, 8836, 9251, 9252 
 6. Leiomyosarcomas8890–8898 
 7. Synovial sarcomas9040–9044 
 8. Blood vessel tumors9120–9125, 9130–9133, 9135, 9136, 9141, 9142, 9161, 9170–9175 
 9. Osseous and chondromatous neoplasms of soft tissue9180, 9210, 9220, 9240C49.0–C49.9
 9231 
 10. Alveolar soft parts sarcoma9581 
 11. Miscellaneous soft tissue sarcomas8587, 8710–8713, 8806, 8840–8842, 8921, 8982, 8990, 9373 
Xa. Intracranial and intraspinal germ cell tumors
 1. Intracranial and intraspinal germinomas9060–9065cC70.0–C72.9, C75.1–C75.3
 2. Intracranial and intraspinal teratomas9080–9084cC70.0–C72.9, C75.1–C75.3
 3. Intracranial and intraspinal embryonal carcinomas9070, 9072cC70.0–C72.9, C75.1–C75.3
 4. Intracranial and intraspinal yolk sac tumor9071cC70.0–C72.9, C75.1–C75.3
 5. Intracranial and intraspinal choriocarcinoma9100cC70.0–C72.9, C75.1–C75.3
 6. Intracranial and intraspinal tumors of mixed forms9085, 9101cC70.0–C72.9, C75.1–C75.3
Xb. Malignant extracranial and extragonadal germ cell tumors
 1. Malignant germinomas of extracranial and extragonadal sites9060–9065C00.0–C55.9, C57.0–C61.9, C63.0–C69.9, C73.9–C75.0, C75.4–C76.8, C80.9
 2. Malignant teratomas of extracranial and extragonadal sites9080–9084C00.0–C55.9, C57.0–C61.9, C63.0–C69.9, C73.9–C75.0, C75.4–C76.8, C80.9
 3. Embryonal carcinomas of extracranial and extragonadal sites9070, 9072C00.0–C55.9, C57.0–C61.9, C63.0–C69.9, C73.9–C75.0, C75.4–C76.8, C80.9
 4. Yolk sac tumor of extracranial and extragonadal sites9071C00.0–C55.9, C57.0–C61.9, C63.0–C69.9, C73.9–C75.0, C75.4–C76.8, C80.9
 5. Choriocarcinomas of extracranial and extragonadal sites9100, 9103, 9104C00.0–C55.9, C57.0–C61.9, C63.0–C69.9, C73.9–C75.0, C75.4–C76.8, C80.9
 6. Other and unspecified malignant mixed germ cell tumors of extracranial and extragonadal sites9085, 9101, 9102, 9105C00.0–C55.9, C57.0–C61.9, C63.0–C69.9, C73.9–C75.0, C75.4–C76.8, C80.9
Xc. Malignant gonadal germ cell tumors
 1. Malignant gonadal germinomas9060–9065C56.9, C62.0–C62.9
 2. Malignant gonadal teratomas9080–9084, 9090, 9091C56.9, C62.0–C62.9
 3. Gonadal embryonal carcinomas9070, 9072C56.9, C62.0–C62.9
 4. Gonadal yolk sac tumor9071C56.9, C62.0–C62.9
 5. Gonadal choriocarcinoma9100C56.9, C62.0–C62.9
 6. Malignant gonadal tumors of mixed forms9085, 9101C56.9, C62.0–C62.9
 7. Malignant gonadal gonadoblastoma9073C56.9, C62.0–C62.9
XIf. Other and unspecified carcinomas
 1. Carcinomas of salivary glands8010–8084, 8120–8157, 8190–8264, 8290, 8310, 8313–8315, 8320–8325, 8360, 8380–8384, 8430–8440, 8452–8454, 8480–8586, 8588–8589, 8940, 8941, 8983, 9000, 9010–9016, 9020, 9030C07.9–C08.9
 2. Carcinomas of colon and rectumC18.0, C18.2–C18.9, C19.9, C20.9, C21.0–C21.8
 3. Carcinomas of appendixC18.1
 4. Carcinomas of lungC34.0–C34.9
 5. Carcinomas of thymusC37.9
 6. Carcinomas of breast C50.0–C50.9
 7. Carcinomas of cervix uteri C53.0–C53.9
 8. Carcinomas of bladder C67.0–C67.9
 9. Carcinomas of eye C69.0–C69.9
 10. Carcinomas of other specified sites C00.0–C06.9, C09.0–C10.9, C12.9–C17.9, C23.9–C33.9, C38.0–C39.9, C48.0–C48.8, C51.0–C52.9, C54.0–C54.9, C55.9, C57.0–C61.9, C63.0–C63.9, C65.9–C66.9, C68.0–C68.9, C70.0–C72.9, C75.0–C75.9
 11. Carcinomas of unspecified site C76.0–C76.8, C80.9
XIIa. Other specified malignant tumors
 1. Gastrointestinal stromal tumor8936 
 2. Pancreatoblastoma8971 
 3. Pulmonary blastoma and pleuropulmonary blastoma8972, 8973 
 4. Other complex mixed and stromal neoplasms8930–8935, 8950, 8951, 8974–8981 
 5. Mesothelioma9050–9055 
 6. Other specified malignant tumors9110 
 9363C00.0–C39.9, C47.0–C75.9

I. Leukemias, myeloproliferative diseases, and myelodysplastic diseases.

Leukemias are divided into subgroups to distinguish lymphoid leukemias (Ia); acute myeloid leukemias (Ib); chronic myeloproliferative diseases, including chronic myeloid leukemias (Ic); and the unspecified or combined types (Ie). The subgroup of lymphoid leukemias (Ia) is subdivided further in Table 2, which permits reporting of statistics for different cell lineages. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (M-9823) also is included in Ia, because it is exceedingly rare in children15 and, thus, will not affect the rates of acute lymphoid leukemia, the predominant childhood leukemia type. A separate subgroup (Id) is created for refractory anemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, and other myeloproliferative diseases, representing 3–9% of the hematologic malignancies in children.16 These entities were considered nonmalignant in ICD-O-24 and, thus, were excluded from previous classifications.

II. Lymphomas and reticuloendothelial neoplasms.

The ICCC-3 maintains the division of lymphomas into the 2 major groups, Hodgkin lymphomas (IIa) and non-Hodgkin lymphomas (IIb). One particular type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Burkitt lymphoma, constitutes a separate subgroup due to huge differences across the world in incidence rates of this tumor.7 Burkitt lymphoma (IIc) may be pooled with the division for overall presentation of mature B-cell lymphomas (IIb2). The miscellaneous lymphoreticular neoplasms include mast cell tumors, malignant histiocytosis, and histiocytic and dendritic cell neoplasms (IId). In the extended classification of non-Hodgkin lymphomas, the first three divisions correspond to those existing within the subgroup of lymphoid leukemias and may be combined with them for analyses by cell lineage.

It should be noted that the definition of the code M-9702 in ICD-O-3 is ambiguous for the purposes of ICCC-3: It is used both for “mature T-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified” and “T-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified.” This ambiguity may not be important for T-cell lymphomas overall, because the majority of unspecified T-cell lymphomas in adults are mature types. However, in children, most T-cell lymphomas are known to be of the precursor cell type.17 Coders should be aware of this problem and should use the code M-9729 (precursor T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma) for an apparently unspecified T-cell lymphoma in a child.

III. Central nervous system and miscellaneous intracranial and intraspinal neoplasms.

Ependymomas and choroid plexus tumors represent a single group (IIIa), but the two tumor types may be distinguished by the extended classification. Astrocytomas are grouped with glioblastoma and optic nerve glioma (IIIb). The intracranial and intraspinal embryonal tumors (IIIc) are divided further into the principal groups of embryonal central nervous system (CNS) tumors in Table 2. Other gliomas (IIId) and other specified intracranial and intraspinal neoplasms (IIIe) also are subdivided into relatively homogeneous divisions in the extended classification. Intracranial and intraspinal germ cell tumors constitute a subgroup within the germ cell tumors, trophoblastic tumors, and neoplasms of gonads (Xa). Cerebral neuroblastoma, which is considered a synonym for supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET) (M-9473),18 belongs in subgroup IIIc and division IIIc2. This arrangement reflects the general opinion that neuroblastoma in CNS is related more closely to PNET than to neuroblastoma elsewhere in the body, and it stipulates verification of coding for each case of neuroblastoma in brain.

IV. Neuroblastoma and other peripheral nervous cell tumors.

Most tumors of this group fall within the subgroup IVa, neuroblastoma and ganglioneuroblastoma, the typical tumors of young children. Subgroup IVb contains rare peripheral nervous cell tumors, olfactory tumors, and some neuroepitheliomatous neoplasms of extracranial and extraspinal sites.

V. Retinoblastoma.

All retinoblastoma morphology types are included in this uniquely homogeneous group of tumors, which occur almost exclusively in children age < 5 years.

VI. Renal tumors.

The largest subgroup of renal tumors (VIa) comprises > 90% of renal tumors that occur in children.7 They are nonepithelial tumors, which form four divisions in the extended classification: nephroblastoma, rhabdoid renal tumor, kidney sarcomas, and peripheral PNET (pPNET) of the kidney. Renal carcinomas constitute the subgroup VIb, and unspecified malignant renal tumors constitute the subgroup VIc. Other tumors of the kidney, such as some rare sarcomas (e.g., ectomesenchymoma19) and teratomas, are classified into groups IX and X, respectively.

VII. Hepatic tumors.

Hepatoblastoma, which is a rare malignant embryonal tumor with divergent patterns of differentiation, constitutes a separate subgroup (VIIa) within the hepatic tumors due to its almost exclusive occurrence in childhood.20 Two other subgroups comprise hepatic carcinomas (VIIb) and unspecified malignant hepatic tumors (VIIc). Other tumors of the liver (various sarcomas, rhabdoid tumor, teratomas, yolk sac tumor, and carcinosarcoma) are to be reported within the corresponding morphology groups of the ICCC-3.

VIII. Malignant bone tumors.

Osteogenic malignant tumors are the largest subgroup of malignant bone tumors in children (VIIIa), closely followed by the subgroup of Ewing and related sarcomas (VIIIc). The latter includes the histogenetically related tumors:21 Ewing tumor of bone, ill defined and unspecified sites, Askin tumor of bone,22 pPNET of bone, and melanotic neuroectodermal tumor of bone. The pPNETs are distinguished from the other two histologies in the extended classification (Table 2).

The remaining malignant tumors of bone in children are represented almost equally by cartilage tumors (VIIIb) and other specified (VIIId) and unspecified (VIIIe) malignant bone tumors. The subgroup of other specified tumors (VIIId) includes a range of tumors, some of which are extremely rare, especially in children. Divisions are provided for chordomas and for fibrous, odontogenic, and miscellaneous tumors; the latter include giant cell tumor of bone and adamantinoma of long bones.

IX. Soft tissue and other extraosseous sarcomas.

There are five subgroups in group IX. The first subgroup (IXa) comprises all histologic types of rhabdomyosarcomas defined in the ICD-O-3, except rhabdomyosarcoma with ganglionic differentiation or ectomesenchymoma (M-8921/M-8923), which exhibits both neuroectodermal and mesenchymal elements23 and, thus, is classified in subgroup IXd. Subgroup IXb, which is composed of fibrosarcomas, peripheral nerve sheath tumors, and other fibromatous neoplasms, is less homogeneous and, thus, is divided further in the extended classification. Kaposi sarcoma (IXc) is distinguished from other vascular tumors because of the large international variation in incidence in children across the world, largely the consequence of the epidemic of human immunodeficiency-acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in many African countries.7, 24 Other specified soft tissue sarcomas are split into 11 divisions. The last of these is comprised of various rare sarcomas together with mesenchymoma, which is not now considered a clinicopathologic entity.25

X. Germ cell tumors, trophoblastic tumors, and neoplasms of gonads

This group of tumors includes all malignant tumors of gonads (in children, represented mainly by germ cell tumors) as well as germ cell tumors of all other sites. The subgroup of intracranial and intraspinal germ cell tumors includes, like other CNS tumors, those with nonmalignant behavior. The extended classification for three subgroups of germ cell tumors (Xa, Xb, and Xc) reflects the categories that are used extensively by pediatric oncologists26 and permits grouping of all germinomas, teratomas, embryonal carcinomas, etc., irrespective of the site of tumor.

XI. Other malignant epithelial neoplasms and malignant melanomas.

The first 5 distinct subgroups reflect specific epidemiologic interests in different parts of the world: adrenocortical carcinomas (XIa), thyroid carcinomas (XIb), nasopharyngeal carcinomas (XIc), malignant melanoma (XId), and skin carcinomas (XIe).7, 27–30 The last subgroup of other and unspecified carcinomas (XIf) comprises 11 divisions (Table 2), according to the site of origin. Such categorization may be useful especially for comparisons in older children or adolescents, in whom these types of tumors are more common. A specific division for carcinomas of the appendix allows malignant carcinoid of the appendix to be distinguished. This is usually a nonmalignant tumor,31 and coding practices differ between cancer registries, so that it may be convenient to exclude epithelial tumors of the appendix from geographic comparisons. The separation of carcinoma of the eye permits international differences in incidence of carcinoma of the conjunctiva to be discerned, especially in relation to the AIDS epidemic in Africa,32 as well as possible errors in coding retinoblastoma.

XII. Other and unspecified malignant neoplasms.

All of the neoplasms not mentioned above are included in the group XII. The tumors grouped in subgroup XIIa are very rare (0.1%), distinct, specified entities that are not classified elsewhere. The most numerous or interesting groups were assigned to separate divisions (Table 2).

Subgroup XIIb includes unspecified tumors that occur in the digestive system (except the liver), respiratory system, skin (integument), genitourinary system (except gonads and kidney), and tumors that occur at ill defined and unknown primary sites that were not considered in the “unspecified” subgroups of the groups III, VI, VII, VIII, and X. Unspecified morphologies of leukemias and lymphomas are classified most appropriately into subgroups Ie and IIe, respectively.

DISCUSSION

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Rules Governing the ICCC-3
  4. The Classification
  5. DISCUSSION
  6. Acknowledgements
  7. REFERENCES

The 3-level structure of the ICCC-3 provides the classification with both simplicity and flexibility. Although the definition of the main groups and most of the subgroups preserves the continuity with the previous classification schemes, the divisions of the extended classification allow categories of tumors of similar origin to be pooled across the higher level groups. This is true for the different cell lineages of lymphoid neoplasms; rhabdoid tumors of the CNS, kidney, and soft tissues; Ewing sarcomas of bone and soft tissues; and PNET of the peripheral nervous system, kidney, bone, and soft tissue.

Leukemias and lymphomas are the groups of neoplasms for which most extensive revision was introduced in the ICD-O-310 based on a combination of morphology, immunophenotype, genetic abnormalities, and clinical criteria of the World Health Organization classification of tumors of hematopoietic and lymphatic tissues.13 The ICD-O-3 codes reflect the concept of eliminating the largely artificial distinction between lymphoid leukemias and lymphomas by sharing leukemia/lymphoma nomenclature. To allow historic comparison, however, the ICD-O-3 provides synonymous codes for such neoplasms.10 A similar approach was chosen for the ICCC-3: Leukemias constitute a separate diagnostic group from lymphomas to secure continuity in reporting of data. At the same time, distinct cell lineages of hematopoietic and lymphoid neoplasms may be pooled across subgroups Ia and IIb, irrespective of leukemic or lymphomatous presentation of the disease, if immunophenotyping for these neoplasms is available.

The inclusion of intracranial and intraspinal tumors with nonmalignant behavior in the ICCC-3 promotes systematic collection of data on these tumors and their inclusion in routine statistics, which still is not the rule in all cancer registries. This is even more important now than before, because the ICD-O-3 assigns a nonmalignant behavior code to pilocytic astrocytoma, which is one of the most common childhood CNS tumors.33 Unlike tumors located elsewhere in the body, intracranial and intraspinal neoplasms present with similar clinical symptoms, prognosis, and late effects, whether or not the tumor is malignant. In addition, the nonmalignant intracranial and intraspinal tumors have different patterns of occurrence (by site, histology, gender, and age); thus, it is of interest to register these tumors irrespective of behavior.34 Tumors classified as nonmalignant in the ICD-O-2 may represent up to one-third of intracranial and intraspinal tumors in children, and this proportion varies between registries7, 34; the classification of pilocytic astrocytoma as nonmalignant would increase this proportion to more than one-half. With the progressive use of noninvasive diagnostic techniques, incidence rates of intracranial and intraspinal nonmalignant tumors may increase faster than the rates for malignant tumors.

The “unspecified” categories defined by the ICCC-3 express a measure of the potentially misclassified tumors. A large proportion of tumors classified as unspecified, therefore, reduces the comparability of different data sets. In such cases, it is preferable to compare only the main diagnostic groups.

The ICCC-3 is a classification system applied to ICD-O-3 morphology and topography codes, and it is assumed that the codes are assigned correctly. Because the ICCC-3 conversion table does not guard against errors of coding, careful data quality checks must be exercised before classification of the tumors. An automatic conversion program that incorporates a number of verification procedures (including the concerns stated above) is in preparation.

In 2000, Birch and Kelsey proposed a classification scheme for childhood cancer within the framework of the United Kingdom's epidemiologic study of childhood cancer,35 which was based on the ICD-O-2.4 The major structural difference concerns Ewing tumors and pPNETs, which are grouped into a single category with peripheral nervous cell tumors in the Birch and Kelsey classification, in contrast to the ICCC-3. The remainder of bone and soft tissue sarcomas are then combined into one group, apart from a few rare histologies that are classified elsewhere. The “other specified malignancies” (equivalent to the ICCC-3 subgroup XIIa) belong to the group named “other carcinoma/melanoma,” corresponding largely to group XI of the ICCC-3. Langerhans cell histiocytosis constitutes a group apart from lymphopoietic neoplasms. Two epidemiologically important diagnoses, Burkitt lymphoma and Kaposi sarcoma, do not have their own subgroups, which limits the value of the Birch and Kelsey classification scheme outside populations of European descent. There are some other minor differences between the classifications. Furthermore, the Birch and Kelsey classification, in addition to ICD-O-2 codes, includes some codes from ICD-O-3 and SNOMED. This can lead to ambiguity in the case of numeric codes appearing in more than one system with different meanings.

From a clinical perspective, Birch and Kelsey sometimes may appear to be the more appropriate classification scheme. However, because the ICCC-3 is based on the most recent international standards, it complies with valid international systems of data collection, coding, and classification, which are essential prerequisites for advancing the quality and comparability of international population-based data on childhood cancer.

Acknowledgements

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Rules Governing the ICCC-3
  4. The Classification
  5. DISCUSSION
  6. Acknowledgements
  7. REFERENCES

The authors also are grateful to Mr. Nicolas Mitton and Mrs. Khatereh Lenormand (Lyons, France), who contributed to the technical side of the project; to Ms. Claudia Bremensdorfer and Ms. Monika Lückel (Mainz, Germany) for contributing their long-standing experience in coding childhood cancer; and to Ms. Sue Anthony (Lyons, France), who helped with the article and assisted with communication between the collaborators.

REFERENCES

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Rules Governing the ICCC-3
  4. The Classification
  5. DISCUSSION
  6. Acknowledgements
  7. REFERENCES
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