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NCCN Updates Infection Guidelines to Include Information about H1N1 Virus (Swine flu)


NCCN recently updated the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology™ for the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer-Related Infections to include information about the H1N1 virus, also known as “swine flu”. The NCCN Guidelines provide specific recommendations on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the major common and opportunistic infections that afflict patients with cancer.


August 5, 2009

FORT WASHINGTON, PA — Infectious diseases are important causes of morbidity and mortality in patients with cancer. In certain cases, the malignancy itself can predispose patients to severe or recurrent infections. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recognizes the importance of providing the latest information on treating these infections and has developed the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology™ for the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer-Related Infections. The NCCN Guidelines were recently updated to include information about the effect that the H1N1 virus, or “swine flu”, may have on the diagnosis and treatment of cancer treatment-related infections.

The NCCN Guidelines on Prevention and Treatment of Cancer-Related Infections characterize the major categories of immunologic deficits in persons with cancer and the major pathogens to which they are susceptible. Specific recommendations are provided on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the major common and opportunistic infections that afflict patients with cancer.

The H1N1 reference is located in the section of the NCCN Guidelines that lists recommendations for treating lung infiltrates in febrile neutropenic patients. The updated NCCN Guidelines note that certain tests and antiviral treatments that are effective in more common strains of influenza and viruses may not be applicable to the H1N1 strain as well as other seasonal or pandemic strains.

Additional noteworthy updates to the NCCN Guidelines include the addition of doripenem (Doribax®, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) to the Antibacterial Agents Tables and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Viread®, Gilead Sciences, Inc.) to the Antiviral Agents Tables.

NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology™ are developed and updated through an evidence-based process with explicit review of the scientific evidence integrated with expert judgment by multidisciplinary panels of physicians from NCCN Member Institutions. The most recent version of this and all the NCCN Guidelines are available free of charge at NCCN.org.

About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 25 of the world's leading cancer centers, is dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients with cancer. Through the leadership and expertise of clinical professionals at NCCN Member Institutions, NCCN develops resources that present valuable information to the numerous stakeholders in the health care delivery system. As the arbiter of high-quality cancer care, NCCN promotes the importance of continuous quality improvement and recognizes the significance of creating clinical practice guidelines appropriate for use by patients, clinicians, and other health care decision-makers. The primary goal of all NCCN initiatives is to improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of oncology practice so patients can live better lives. For more information, visit NCCN.org.

The NCCN Member Institutions are:

  • Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center at The Nebraska Medical Center
  • City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center
    Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
  • Duke Cancer Institute
  • Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah
  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center / Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
  • The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
  • Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
  • Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Moffitt Cancer Center
  • The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute
  • Roswell Park Cancer Institute
  • Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine
  • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  • Stanford Cancer Institute
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center
  • UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • University of Colorado Cancer Center
  • University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
  • Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital