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NCCN/MENA Regional Meeting Held in Abu Dhabi

By Jonathan Larsen, MPP, Manager, Global Business Development

National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) faculty advised on NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) adaptations for utilization in the Middle East/North Africa region (MENA) during the NCCN/MENA regional meeting held from November 14 – 16, 2013 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The meeting was held in conjunction with the 2nd Emirates Oncology Conference, which experienced a record turnout of more than 1,000 delegates. The regional meeting offered representatives from MENA and relevant NCCN Guidelines Panel Members the opportunity to discuss application of the NCCN Guidelines® for Lymphomas and Colorectal Cancers in the region.

Additional NCCN faculty participated via teleconference regarding regional adaptations of the NCCN Guidelines for Breast, Hepatobiliary, Non-Small Cell Lung, and Prostate Cancers.

Robert W. Carlson, MD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN, reflected upon the value of the regional adaptation process, “The ongoing collaboration between NCCN and MENA NCCN is an important example of how the exchange of scientific perspective from regional and international experts serves to improve the quality and effectiveness of cancer care globally. NCCN looks forward to continuing and expanding this effort.”

Abdul Rahman Jazieh, MD, MPH, Chairman, Department of Oncology, King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Director of the Coordinating Center for MENA NCCN Collaboration, stated, “The process of exchange between the experts from the region and U.S.-based NCCN experts is very dynamic and educational with mutual benefits to all those involved as it gives the chance for in-depth review of the Guidelines by international experts who serve like external reviewers for these guidelines. At the same time, they get a better understanding of the internal process of NCCN Guidelines development from the U.S. experts.”

“As a practicing oncologist, the NCCN Guidelines modification process gave me the chance to learn fine details about the NCCN Guidelines and dissect them thoroughly and discuss them with experts from the United States,” said Ashwaq Alaolayan, MD, a gastrointestinal oncologist from Saudi Arabia. “This was a very valuable learning experience for me,” said Dr. Alaolayan.

Regional adaptations resulting from this meeting are expected to be available in early 2014 on

NCCN regularly collaborates to create and distribute foreign editions, regional adaptations, and consensus statements of the NCCN Guidelines, which are NCCN Guidelines derivatives and allow for consideration of metabolic differences in populations, local accessibility, and regulatory status of health care technologies used in cancer care in the specified country. For additional information on NCCN International Programs, visit