The International Childhood Cancer Cohort Consortium (I4C) is an innovative alliance that possibly provides the greatest opportunity for finding a preventable cause of childhood cancer. I4C aims to examine associations between environmental exposures and the incidence of childhood cancers by pooling prospective population data from one million pregnant mothers and their babies. Around the world, several large infant/child prospective studies have been launched to examine environmental and biological determinants of common diseases. However, the rarity of virtually all forms of childhood cancer prevent even large cohort studies from examining the possible relationship of common exposures with common types of childhood cancer due to inadequate sample size.

The Murdoch Childrens Research Institute has had a major role in the study concept and planning for I4C, and is functioning as the I4C International Data Coordinating Centre. Data are being pooled and analysed to examine environmental and genetic factors that differ between those children who get cancer and those who don’t. I4C brings together international multidisciplinary teams to collaborate on this investigation and currently spans five continents with research teams from 15 countries.

As of June 2016, the I4C International Data Coordinating Centre houses data on:

  • 381,860 mothers and babies, including
  • 671 cases of childhood cancer (198 leukaemia), from
  • 6 cohorts contributing data to the pooled analysis
    • ALSPAC
    • CPP
    • DNBC (10% sample)
    • JPS
    • MoBa (10% sample)
    • TIHS



Participating studies with data available at the IDCC (as of July 2016)

Country Study Title Primary Investigator Sample Size Recruiting Years
Australia Tasmanian Infant Health Survey (TIHS) Professor Terry Dwyer 10,627 1988-1995
Denmark Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC) Dr Jørn Olsen 101,042 1996-2002
Israel Jerusalem Perinatal Study (JPS) Dr Susan Harlap 92,408 1964-1976
Norway Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) Dr Per Magnus 109,981 1999-2007
United Kingdom Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) Professor Jean Golding 14,062 1990-1992
USA Collaborative Perinatal Project (CPP) NINDB/NIH 60,000 1959-1965

Studies planning participation and data sharing (as of July 2016)

Country Study Title Primary Investigator Sample Size Recruiting Years
Australia Generation Victoria (Gen V) Professor Melissa Wake 100,000 2019-2020
Brazil Campinas Infant Health Survey Dr Silvia Brandalisa 100,000 2009+
China Birth Defects Surveillance System For the Collaborative Project China (BDSS-China) Dr Wang Linhong 247,831 1993-1995
China The Born in Guangzhou Cohort Study (BIGCS) Dr Xiu Qiu 30,000 2012- 2018
China China Children and Family Cohort Study (CFCS) Dr Wang Linhong 300,000 2011+
China Wuhan Study Associate Professor Zhengmin (Min) Qian
Professor Edwin Trevathan
120,000 2010-2013
France Etude Longitudinale Française depuis l’enfance (ELFE) Dr Jacqueline Clavel 20,000 2008-2009
Germany German Environmental Health Birth Cohort Dr Marike Kolossa-Gehring 200,000 2012+
Germany Survey of Neonates in Pomerania (SNiP) Dr Jochen Rene Thyrian 6,828 2003-2008
Italy Nascita ed Infancia: Gli Effetti dell’Ambiente (NINFEA) Dr Franco Merletti 7,500 2005+
Japan Japan National Children’s Study (JECS) Dr Toshihiro Kawamoto 100,000 2011-2014
Korea Professor Eun-Hee Ha
Spain Infancia y Medio Ambiente (INMA) Dr Jordi Sunyer Deu 3,300 2001-2005
Taiwan Taiwan Birth Cohort Study Professor Tung-liang Chiang 20,000 2003-2010
United Kingdom Bradford Babies: Growing up in Bradford (BiB) Dr Patricia McKinney 10,000 2006-2008
Study Summary
Study name  International Childhood Cancer Cohort Consortium
Study abbreviation  I4C
Current steering committee
  • Terry Dwyer (Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia; The George Institute for Global Health, UK)
  • Jean Golding (Centre for Child and Adolescent Health School of Social and Community Medicine, Bristol, UK)
  • Martha Linet (National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, MD, USA)
  • Ora Paltiel (School of Public Health, Hadassah Medical Organization, Israel)
  • Gabriella Tikellis (Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia)
  • Zdenco Herceg (International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France)
  • Jørn Olsen (Department of Epidemiology, University of California, USA; Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Denmark)
  • Sjurdur Olsen (Statens Serum Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark)
  • Camilla Stoltenberg / Per Magnus (Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway)
  • Toshihiro Kawamoto / Shoji Nakayama (National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan)
  • Somdat Mahabir (Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, USA)
Current project manager Gabriella Tikellis
Primary Institution The Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI)

The George Institute for Global Health

Collaborating Institution/s National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)), USA

Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, USA

Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Denmark

Statens Serum Institut, Denmark

School of Public Health, Hadassah Medical Organization, Israel

Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway

Centre for Child and Adolescent Health School of Social and Community Medicine, Bristol, UK

International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France

Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, Spain

China CDC, China

National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan

Major funding sources National Children’s Study

National Institutes of Health (NIH) (National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD))

Children’s Cancer Foundation

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)

Rotary Club of North Brighton

Tour de Cure

Philanthropic donations to Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

Study website https://www.mcri.edu.au/research/projects/international-childhood-cancer-cohort-consortium-i4c
Key reference for study (published study protocol) Brown, R.C., Dwyer, T., Kasten, C., Krotoski, D., Li, Z., Linet, M.S., Olsen, J., Scheidt, P. and Winn, D.M.; International Childhood Cancer Cohort Consortium (I4C). (2007). Cohort profile: the International Childhood Cancer Cohort Consortium (I4C). International Journal of Epidemiology 36(4): 724-30
Are data available to others outside study team? Yes, contact Gabriella Tikellis for enquiries
Study focus (e.g. social development) To examine associations between environmental exposures and the incidence of childhood cancers by pooling prospective population data from one million pregnant mothers and their babies
Sampling frame Large population-based longitudinal birth cohorts of greater than 2000 participants with environmental measures in domains of interest for childhood cancers and the possibility of following children for childhood cancer
Study type (e.g. randomised control trial, cohort, case-control)  Prospective longitudinal birth cohorts
Year commenced September 2005 for I4C, with individual cohort recruitment dates
Current sample (N) As of June 2016: 380,000 mother and child pairs
Intergenerational (e.g. offspring)?  N/A
Imaging (e.g. fMRI, ultrasound, retinal photograph)?  N/A
Linkage (e.g. BioGrid, VPDC, NAPLAN, Medicare)? DNBC, MoBA and ALSPAC cohorts have data linkage
Biosamples (e.g. buccal, blood, hair)?  Yes, available in some studies: cord blood, newborn screening (Guthrie) cards, saliva, venous blood

Principal Investigator

Terence Dwyer
terence.dwyer@georgeinstitute.ox.ac.uk

Project Manager

Gabriella Tikellis
Email: gabriella.tikellis@mcri.edu.au

Postal Address

Gabriella Tikellis
Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
The Royal Children’s Hospital, Flemington Road
Parkville VIC 3052

Australia