National Comprehensive Cancer Network

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NCCN Plans Release of Biomarkers Compendium

Marian Birkeland, PhD., Oncology Scientist, Molecular Medicine

Last week at the NCCN 7th Annual Congress: Hematologic Malignancies™, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) announced the pending launch of the NCCN Biomarkers Compendium™ in December 2012. The goal of the NCCN Biomarkers Compendium™ is to identify how biomarkers are appropriately used to screen, diagnose, monitor, and provide predictive or prognostic information to ensure, ultimately, that patients and clinicians have access to appropriate testing.

The tests included in the NCCN Biomarkers Compendium™ are those recommended in the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®)–the recognized standard for clinical policy in oncology and the most comprehensive and frequently updated guidelines available in any area of medicine. The NCCN Biomarkers Compendium™ contains information to support decision-making about the appropriate use of biomarkers testing in people with cancer.

The NCCN Biomarkers Compendium™ and the NCCN Drugs & Biologics Compendium (NCCN Compendium®) together will assist physicians and payors in identifying appropriate molecular testing from treatment and coverage perspectives and help them provide the most up-to-date standard of care, based on NCCN panel member evaluation.

Using a broad and inclusive definition of biomarkers, the NCCN Biomarkers Compendium™ includes tests used to diagnose, determine prognosis, and to predict response to treatment or toxicity, as well as for surveillance. Biomarker testing provides critical information needed to ensure that patients receive only those treatments most likely to be effective, while avoiding overtreatment and unnecessary side effects.

The public launch of the NCCN Biomarkers Compendium™ is scheduled for December 2012, and trial subscriptions will be available through January 2013. Users can preview the NCCN Biomarkers Compendium™ today at NCCN.org/biomarkers. Please submit all comments to biomarkersfeedback@nccn.org.

Look for further announcements regarding this and other NCCN developments in future issues of eBulletin and on NCCN.org.

About NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®)

The NCCN Guidelines®–the recognized standard for clinical policy in oncology—are the most comprehensive and most frequently updated clinical practice guidelines available in any area of medicine. Covering 97 percent of all malignancies affecting individuals with cancer and updated on a continual basis, the NCCN Guidelines are developed through an explicit review of the evidence integrated with expert medical judgment and recommendations by multidisciplinary panels from NCCN Member Institutions. There are 44 individual panels, comprising nearly 900 clinicians and oncology researchers from the 21 NCCN Member Institutions. Specific treatment recommendations are implemented through performance measurement. NCCN Guidelines Panels address cancer detection, prevention and risk reduction, workup and diagnosis, treatment, and supportive care.

About NCCN Drugs and Biologics Compendium (NCCN Compendium®)

Based directly on the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®), the NCCN Compendium® contains authoritative, scientifically derived information design to support decision-making about the appropriate use of drugs and biologics in patients with cancer. The NCCN Compendium is now recognized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and UnitedHealthcare, along with other insurers, as an authoritative reference for oncology coverage policy. Managed care medical directors, pharmacy benefits directors, and other health care professionals also reference the NCCN Compendium when making decisions that impact patient access to appropriate therapy. The uses identified are based upon evaluation of evidence from scientific literature integrated with expert judgment in an evidence-based process. Indicated uses are categorized in a systematic approach that describes the type of evidence available for and the degree of consensus underlying each recommendation. All recommendations (at all category levels) in the NCCN Compendium constitute appropriate, medically-necessary care. The NCCN Compendium lists both FDA-approved uses and appropriate uses beyond the FDA-approved label.