By Kelly C. Simpson, Editor, eBulletin: International Edition
More than 1,800 Chinese oncology professionals attended the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) 4th Annual Asia Scientific Congress in Shanghai, China, on April 9, 2011, which featured expert faculty from NCCN Member Institutions and thought leaders in cancer care from major Chinese cancer centers. "This Congress represents a paragon for the developing international standards for the treatment of patients with cancer. Expert oncologists from China and NCCN discussed the most important changes in the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines™) for many tumor types and worked together to optimize the guidelines for the treatment of patients in China," said Dr. Thomas D'Amico, NCCN Board of Directors Chair and Director of Clinical Oncology at the Duke Cancer Institute.
Esteemed faculty included NCCN Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Panel Chair, Dr. David Ettinger, the Alex Grass Professor of Oncology at The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, who presented an update on the recommendations of the NCCN Guidelines™ for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. Dr. Ettinger's presentation also featured a talk entitled "Small Cell Lung Cancer: Challenges for an Emerging Orphan Disease."
The NCCN Guidelines for Breast and Pancreatic Cancers were presented. Dr. Al Benson, Associate Director for Clinical Investigations for Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University and former Chair of the NCCN Board of Directors, lectured on the latest updates to the Pancreatic Guideline and provided his perspective regarding adjuvant therapy in pancreatic disease.
NCCN Breast Panel Chair Dr. Robert Carlson provided the NCCN Guidelines for Breast Cancer update and an insightful review of "Triple Negative Breast Cancer Biology, Treatment, and Research." Dr. Carlson serves as Professor, Division of Medical Oncology at Stanford Cancer Institute.
Dr. David Ilson, Attending Physician and Professor at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, updated gastric cancer specialists on the latest NCCN Guidelines for Gastric Cancer and spoke to the role of irinotecan in chemotherapy. The session also featured updates to the NCCN Guidelines for Colon and Rectal Cancers, presented respectively by Dr. Alan Venook, Professor of Clinical Medicine at UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Panel Chair, Dr. Paul Engstrom, Senior Vice President, Extramural Research Programs at Fox Chase Cancer Center.
Updates to the NCCN Guidelines for Ovarian Cancer were discussed by Dr. Robert Morgan, Panel Chair and Staff Physician, Department of Medical Oncology, at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Morgan also presented on the NCCN Guidelines for Cervical Cancer.
The NCCN Guidelines for Kidney Cancer and immunotherapy in kidney cancer were presented by Dr. Kim Margolin, Member, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Physician and Clinical Investigator at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
Dr. Scott Howard, Chair of Pediatric Oncology in Developing Countries at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital/University of Tennessee Cancer Institute, gave a thought-provoking review of Burkitt's lymphoma and the urgency of diagnosis. The management of cerebral metastases, challenges in ovarian cancer, and HER2 targeted therapy of metastatic breast cancer were presented by Dr. Ettinger, Dr. Morgan, and Dr. Carlson respectively. Complementary to the NCCN faculty sessions were lectures by prominent Chinese physicians specializing in each of the presented tumor types. The final session, themed "NCCN Frontiers of Oncology," which included a collection of forward-looking perspectives from most of the NCCN faculty, concluded the Congress Series in Beijing on April 14, 2011.
The NCCN Guidelines are the recognized standard of care in the United States. Expert clinicians across Asia recognize and apply NCCN Guidelines in practice and have collaborated with NCCN on the translation, adaptation and implementation of national versions of the NCCN Guidelines. NCCN and cancer-care thought leaders in China have had a long-standing collaboration in the development of the NCCN Guidelines, China Editions - the most authoritative reference for oncology practice in China. Indeed, of the 1.3 million unique visitors to the NCCN website (www.nccn.org) every year, approximately 250,000 are from Asian countries. Fifty-seven thousand unique visitors are from Japan and 47,000 are from China.
NCCN regularly collaborates with international organizations around the world to create and distribute translations of the NCCN Guidelines, which may include modifications representative of metabolic differences in populations, technological considerations, and regulatory status of agents used in cancer management, such as availabilities of drugs, biologics, devices, and procedures.