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National Comprehensive Cancer Network

About NCCN

NCCN’s Commitment in Sub-Saharan Africa

By Jorge Bacigalupo, Global Business Development Program Manager, NCCN, and Caitlin Donnelly, Global Business Development Specialist, NCCN

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) entered into a collaboration with the African Cancer Coalition, to develop the NCCN Harmonized Guidelines™ for Sub-Saharan Africa. The collaboration is part of a larger coalition addressing rising cancer rates and limited resources in parts of Africa, which also includes The American Cancer Society (ACS), the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), and IBM. Thus far, NCCN has traveled to Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda to participate in workshops with members of the ACC to adapt multiple NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) and NCCN Framework for Resource Stratification of NCCN Guidelines (NCCN Framework™) for use in Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, NCCN presented the first set of published NCCN Harmonized Guidelines™ during the African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) Conference in Kigali, Rwanda in November 2017. 

Key to the success of this effort has been the involvement of experts from Africa. More than 60 African Cancer Coalition members from 12 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have participated in the adaptation process, including clinical oncologists, educators, representatives from health ministries, and health care administrators. This initiative spans national borders in Africa and spans continents in a collaborative effort. Coalition members are also assisting with dissemination and promotion of the completed guidelines.

In 2017, NCCN published the following NCCN Harmonized Guidelines™ for Sub-Saharan Africa:

  • Adult Cancer Pain
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia/Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma
  • Kaposi Sarcoma
  • Non-Hodgkin's Lymphomas
  • B-cell Lymphomas
  • Palliative Care
  • Prostate Cancer

The new set of NCCN Harmonized Guidelines™ are scheduled to be published in the fall of 2018, and will include:

  • Colon Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Gastric Cancer
  • Head and Neck Cancers (concentrating on lip, oral, and oropharynx)
  • Rectal Cancer
  • Antiemesis
  • Myeloid Growth Factors
  • Survivorship and General Wellness

The NCCN Harmonized Guidelines™ outline a rational, standardized approach for building cancer management systems to provide the highest achievable cancer care by applying available and affordable services in a logical sequence. The resulting guidelines and the ongoing discussion identify available assets across national borders and allow for pooling of resources between countries.

NCCN is thankful for the financial support that assisted in maintaining NCCN’s collaborative efforts in this region. Such support includes core funding from ACS and a charitable donation from Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson towards NCCN’s General Mission in Sub-Saharan Africa. NCCN has also contributed core funding for the collaboration.

For more information about NCCN’s collaboration to create the NCCN Harmonized Guidelines™ for Sub-Saharan Africa, visit NCCN.org/global.