NCCN Marks 20 Years of Evidence-Based Decision-Making in Small Cell Lung Cancer


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Greg Kalemkerian, MD

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recently announced publication of the 20th annual edition of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC). One of the eight original NCCN Guidelines, the NCCN Guidelines for SCLC was initially published in November 1996.

“There have indeed been major improvements in the NCCN process since 1996,” said Greg Kalemkerian, MD, Professor, Medical Oncology, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, and NCCN Guidelines Panel Chair for SCLC. “Such improvements include the integration of a broader discipline representation on the NCCN Guidelines Panels, the availability of more evidence-based studies to support recommendations and choices, and the inclusion of the ‘Principles of’ sections that provide more detailed information of rationale and details of therapeutic regimens.”

Notable Improvements

Dr. Kalemkerian noted improvements in the treatment of SCLC since 1996, highlighting NCCN Guidelines recommendations such as the demonstration of survival benefit for prophylactic cranial radiation (PCI), raising PCI—a highly controversial procedure—from category 3 in 1996 to its current status as a category 1 recommendation, based on high-quality evidence and uniform consensus. Similarly, the demonstration of a survival benefit for second-line chemotherapy in relapsed SCLC raised subsequent chemotherapy from a category 3 in 1996 to a category 1 recommendation today. Another improvement was the demonstration of a survival benefit for hyperfractioned thoracic radiotherapy in limited-stage SCLC.

Today, NCCN develops and publishes a library of 59 NCCN Guidelines, covering 97% of cancers affecting people in the United States.

On March 12 – 14, 2015, the NCCN 20th Annual Conference: Advancing the Standard of Cancer Care™ will be held at The Diplomat in Hollywood, Florida.  In recognition of NCCN’s 20th Anniversary, NCCN is planning to hold a special live roundtable during the NCCN Annual Conference comprised of NCCN leadership—past and present—as well as other stakeholders who have had a significant impact on the development, progression, and success of NCCN over the years; noteworthy historical NCCN accomplishments and events will be discussed, as well as the impact NCCN has had and continues to have on the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of cancer care so that patients can live better lives. ■

 



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