Harmonization of nomenclature and diagnostic criteria in toxicologic pathology, especially for rats and mice, has been a goal of pathologists working in the profession for many years. In the latter part of the twentieth century, several initiatives were undertaken by the STP in the United States and by the RITA data base group (Registry of Industrial Toxicology Animal—data) in Europe. Their efforts resulted in a number of internationally recognized publications: SSNDC: Guides for Toxicologic Pathology and the WHO/IARC International Classification of Rodent Tumors.
In 2005, the Strategic and Regulatory Policy Committee (SRPC) decided that the time was ripe for a revision of the earlier guides. Their proposal stated: There is general agreement that the previous SSNDC nomenclature guides should be reviewed and revised if necessary. Some fascicles for non-proliferative lesions were never completed. Broad involvement of European and Japanese scientists will be necessary to ensure worldwide acceptance and endorsement.
The European Society of Toxicologic Pathology, in conjunction with RITA, endorsed the proposal in late 2005. They suggested that since RITA had recently completed a large amount of work on proliferative lesions of both rats and mice, that the project focus on non-proliferative lesions. They also offered to provide an open version of RENI (goRENI: global open Registry Nomenclature Information System (www.goreni.org) to serve as a platform. Access to goRENI is available to all members of the participating STPs (see below for further information on accessing goRENI.)
The result of these discussions was the INHAND Proposal (International Harmonization of Nomenclature and Diagnostic Criteria for Lesions in Rats and Mice ). In 2006, the BSTP and the JSTP joined the initiative, so that the project was truly global.
The GESC (Global Editorial Steering Committee) to oversee the activities of the project.
The GESC is composed of toxicologic pathologists from all of the participating societies. In addition there are several technical consultants for web and print support.
The Organ System Working Groups (OWG) are the core of the project. Each Group is responsible for producing the non-neoplastic nomenclature for their particular organ. In addition, they review the proliferative lesions already posted on goRENI and discuss them with the RITA groups so that the final nomenclature, both proliferative and non-proliferative represent the consensus of the international collaborators.
The Chair of each OWG is appointed by the GESC. Members of the group come from each of the participating Societies and may be nominated by the Chair or by the individual STPs.
There are active OWGs for all organ systems in the rodent. However, INHAND has been expanded to include non-rodent species. If you would like to volunteer to be member of an OWG, please indicate your interest by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When an Organ System Working Group has completed a draft of its nomenclature, the draft (with illustrations) is submitted to the GESC for initial approval and then posted on goRENI. The membership of each Society is then notified that the draft is posted and available for comments for a 60 day period. After the comment period is completed, the OWG will consider the comments and prepare a final draft. This final draft is reviewed once more by the GESC and posted on goRENI
In addition to goRENI, the completed nomenclature for each organ system will be published in the official journals of the participating Societies: Toxicologic Pathology (STP, BSTP, and ESTP), and the Journal of Toxicologic Pathology (JSTP).