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New Middle East and North Africa Editions of NCCN Guidelines® Available

By Jonathan Larsen, MPP, Manager, Global Business Development

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) has published six new Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Editions of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) available for free on the The MENA Editions are regional adaptations of the NCCN Guidelines® for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas, as well as Breast, Colon, Hepatobiliary, Non-Small Cell Lung, and Prostate Cancers and are the result of the NCCN/MENA regional meeting held from 14 – 16 November 2013 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in conjunction with the 2nd Emirates Oncology Conference. NCCN has been collaborating with the MENA Coordinating Center since 2008.

Previously, MENA adaptations were published in JNCCN – Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network as manuscripts and represented recommendations by MENA-NCCN Committee members, in consultation with NCCN faculty, to address regional application of the NCCN Guidelines, specifically focusing on metabolic differences in populations and local accessibility to technology and treatment. The new MENA Editions integrate MENA-NCCN Committee member recommendations directly into the NCCN Guidelines using the standard NCCN regional adaptation format and are available through both and the Virtual Library of NCCN Guidelines® app, available for iPhones and Android™ Smartphones.     

Robert W. Carlson, MD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN, extended his support for the ongoing NCCN/MENA collaboration: “We at NCCN congratulate the MENA Coordinating Center for NCCN Collaborations at the King Abdul-Aziz Medical City in Riyadh, MENA-NCCN Committee members, and the NCCN faculty for their hard work and success in developing the MENA Editions of the NCCN Guidelines. NCCN looks forward to continuing and expanding this collaborative effort to improve the quality and effectiveness of cancer care in the MENA region.”     

Essential to the adaptation process is NCCN faculty participation, as all adaptations are developed in consultation with the relevant NCCN Guidelines Panel Chair or Panel Member. NCCN gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the MENA-NCCN Committee members and NCCN faculty involved in the adaptation process, detailed below.

William Gradishar, MD, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Chair, NCCN Breast Cancer Guidelines Panel, participated in this process on behalf of NCCN with the MENA-NCCN Breast Cancer Committee composed of:

Omalkhair Abualkhair, MD, Chair

Nagi Saghir, MD, Vice Chair

Shafiqa AL-Awadi, MD

Salah Fayaz, MD

Metaaeb AL-Fohaid, MD

Fady Geara, MD

Abdulaziz Al Saif, MD

Mohammed Jaloudi, MD

Mervat Al-Saleh, MD

Alaa Kandil, MD

Sana Al-Sukhun, MD

Sami Khatib, MD

Menar Mohamed Ayoub, MD

Arif Rashid Khawaja, MD

Nuha Birdo, MD

Mufid Mistiri, MD

Shaheena Dawood, MD

Ahmed Saadedin, MD

Fawaz Deirawan, MD

Dorria Salem, MD

Saju R. Divakar, MD

El Siah Hassan Sayd, MD

Heba El-Zawahry, MD

Lobna Sedky, MD

Hassan Errihani, MD

Neelam Siddiqui, MD


Al B. Benson III, MD, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Chair, NCCN Guidelines Panels for Colon and Hepatobiliary Cancers, participated in the adaptation process with the MENA-NCCN Colon Cancer composed of:

Fikri İçli, MD, Chair

Hakan Akbulut, MD, Vice Chair

Ashwaq Al-Olayan, MD

Mohandas K. Mallath, MD

Ahmad Al-Shehri, MD

Ibrahim Kakil Rasul, MD

Shouki Bazarbashi, MD

Aamir Ali Syed, MD

Osama H. Hamed, MD

Faruk Zorlu F., MD

Ayhan Kuzu, MD



Dr. Benson also participated in the adaptation process with the MENA-NCCN Hepatobiliary Cancers Committee composed of:

Ashraf Omar Abdel Aziz, MD, Chair

Najam Ud-Din, MD, Vice Chair

Khalid Omer Abdullah, MD

Ather Kazmi, MD

Abdulkareem Abdulmajeed, MD

Nehal Masood, MD

Abdulsalam Al-Najjar, MD

Kakil Ibrahim Rasul, MD

Faisal Saud Dar, MD

Ali Shamseddine, MD

Osama H. Hamed, MD

Ihab Shehadeh, MD

Hassan Jaafar, MD

Suayib Yalcin, MD

Refaat Refaat Kamel, MD



Renato Martins, MD, MPH, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Member, NCCN Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Guidelines Panel, participated in the adaptation process with the MENA-NCCN Lung Cancer composed of:

Abdul-Rahman Jazieh, MD, MPH, Chair

Ahmed Saadeddin, MD, Vice Chair

Naheel Alnafisi, MD

Amgad El-Sherif, MD

Turki Al-Fayae, MD

Rabab Gaafar, MD

Hassan Al-Sabe, MD

Fady Geara, MD

Hanaa Bamefleh, MD

Jamal Khader, MD

Adda Bounedjar, MD

Kian Khodadad, MD

Ahmet Demirkazik, MD

Mohammad Shadmehr, MD

Ahmed El-Khodary, MD

Najam Ud-din, MD


Andrew D. Zelenetz, MD, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Chair, NCCN Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas Guidelines Panel, participated in the adaptation process with the MENA-NCCN Lymphoma Committee composed of:

Ali Bazarbachi, MD, PhD, Chair

Naeem A. Chaudhri, MD, Vice Chair

Saad Akhtar, MD

Omar A. Fahmy, MD

Hussain Alizadeh, MD

Ardeshir Ghavamzaheh, MD

Mahmoud Aljurf, MD

Mohamad H. Khalaf, MD

Mubarak Al-Mansour, MD

Sami Khatib, MD

Ahmed Askar, MD

Aghiad Kutoubi, MD

Hamdi Abdel Azim, MD

Saloua Ladeb, MD

Ibrahim Barista, MD

Semra Paydas, MD

Hanadi Rafii Elayoubi, MD

Ghazi Zaatari, MD

Zahera Fahed, MD

Hamdy Zawam, MD


James L. Mohler, MD, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Chair, NCCN Prostate Guidelines Panel, participated in the adaptation process with the MENA-NCCN Prostate Cancer Committee composed of:

Waleed Hassen, MD, Chair

Jamal Khader, MD

Farhat Abbas, MD

Raja Khauli, MD

Abdulrahman AL-Habd, MD

Ehab Khalil, MD

Sultan Al Khateeb, MD

Sultan Al Khateeb, MD

Al-Hareth M. Al-Khater, MD

Dani Rabah, MD

Marwan Ghosn, MD

Ali Shamseddine, MD

Farrok Karsan, MD



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 NCCN 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.” 

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. An article detailing the regional adaptation process was published in the May issue of JNCCN (JNCCN 2014; 12:643-648).1  For additional information on NCCN International Programs, visit


1 Carlson RW, Larsen JK, McClure J, Fitzgerald CL, Venook AP, Benson AB, Anderson, BO.  International Adaptations of NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology.  J Natl Compr Cancer Netw. 2014; 12: 643-648.