By Jennifer Hinkel, NCCN e-Bulletin Editor-in-Chief
Drawing on the expertise from the world’s thought leaders in oncology, the NCCN Oncology Comparative Effectiveness Work Group has developed a systematic process for applying existing data in comparative effectiveness clinical evaluations in the field of oncology that will benefit both physicians and patients. These recommendations are detailed in a draft white paper that is available for public comment on NCCN.org through 5:00 pm EST on November 23, 2009.
The white paper, entitled “The ‘NCCN Comparative Therapeutic Index™’ as a Paradigm for Near Term Comparative Effectiveness Analyses of Existing Data in Oncology” was developed by a work group convened by NCCN that included expert stakeholders representing patients, clinicians, managed care, pharma/biotech, and health policy. The paper introduces the NCCN Comparative Therapeutic Index™ (CTI), a clinical evaluative method that communicates the ratio of the effectiveness of a proposed treatment versus its potential toxicity. Resource utilization issues are also addressed in the white paper.
The NCCN CTI model is based upon the evaluation of available scientific data integrated with the expert judgment of leading oncologists. The implementation of the NCCN CTI is proposed to be a gradual, progressive approach with an eventual goal of system-wide adoption into all of the NCCN Guidelines. Given the NCCN Guidelines’ credibility in the cancer community, the NCCN Work Group believes they serve as an ideal channel to disseminate comparative effectiveness results for adoption into practice. NCCN seeks to continue its leadership role in developing and communicating scientific, evaluative information to inform and improve decision-making to assure that patients have available the safest and most effective options for their cancer care.
The NCCN Work Group will consider the public’s feedback and develop a second iteration of the white paper that will be presented at a policy summit on December 7, 2009.