NCCN Guidelines® & Clinical Resources
NCCN International Programs – Latin America
National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recently traveled to Brazil for the
fifth annual Grupo Latinoamericano de Investigacao Clinica em Oncologia (GLICO)
Breast Cancer congress. From August 26th through August 28th, approximately 300
Latin American oncology professionals heard from Dr. David S. Ettinger, Dr. John
H. Ward, and Dr. William T. McGivney, of The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer
Center at Johns Hopkins, Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, and
NCCN, respectively. This program, Cancer de Mama, Ano 5 (Breast Cancer, Year Five),
was held in Gramado, Brazil.
Both NCCN and GLICO recognize the valuable role of expert teamwork and consensus
in improving and standardizing cancer treatment recommendations. The initial collaboration
was inherently positive and signifies a successful beginning to what will become
a more comprehensive partnership. In his presentation, Dr. McGivney educated the
attendees about the work and mission
of NCCN and the importance of
international collaborations for the betterment of patient care.
As the congress was officially focused on clinical developments in breast cancer,
Dr. Ward illustrated the science and decisions behind key
NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®)
recommendations for that tumor type.
Dr. Ettinger, an expert in lung cancer, spoke on the challenges of taking Guidelines
across borders, emphasizing that NCCN experts in the United States often contend
with many of the same clinical dilemmas that confront physicians all around the
world. The question and answer component of the NCCN session raised issues
relating to comparative effectiveness, clinical care, and standardization of treatment
The program was intimate, yet wide in its reach. In addition to Brazilians,
the presented information reached oncology professionals in attendance from the
following countries: Argentina, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama,
Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
In conjunction with the congress, NCCN faculty and disease-specific experts from
across Latin America participated in closed-panel discussions to consider potential
modifications to the NCCN Guidelines® for Breast and Lung Cancers
for adapted local implementation. These productive and informative meetings will
result in Latin American Editions of the NCCN Guidelines for use by practitioners
in that region.
After returning from the trip, Dr. Ettinger said that he is "looking forward
to having more participants contribute and to enhancing the working relationship
between the NCCN physicians and Latin American physicians." Furthering
the relationships is important, as local presenters conveyed a burdensome need for
an evidence-based system that serves to minimize the vast disparities in care provided
to Latin American patients. NCCN enthusiastically aims to meet that need through
implementation of adapted Guidelines.
The local editions of the NCCN Guidelines, once finalized, will be made available
in Portuguese and Spanish.