National Comprehensive Cancer Network

About NCCN

New Treatment Options Featured in NCCN Breast Cancer Clinical Practice Guidelines

JENKINTOWN, PA, November 18, 2003 – The National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of nineteen of the world’s leading cancer centers, announces an update of the NCCN Breast Cancer Clinical Practice Guidelines.

In a significant change, the NCCN’s Breast Cancer panel has added a new footnote to its recommendations for adjuvant therapy following primary therapy for breast cancer. Based on the recently closed MA-17 trial, panel members indicated that consideration of use of letrozole (Femara®, Novartis) in postmenopausal women with hormone receptor positive breast cancer and who have completed 5 years of tamoxifen as adjuvant therapy is appropriate. The panel stated that the MA-17 study does not address the adjuvant use of protracted or sequential aromatase inhibitors (e.g. letrozole following 5-years of anastrozole or indefinite anastrozole or tamoxifen following an aromatase inhibitor). Letrozole is not appropriate for premenopausal women.

“NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology are widely recognized as the standard for clinical policy in oncology. Additionally, managed care companies are using them increasingly to help establish coverage policy, ” said William McGivney, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of NCCN. “As such, the NCCN recognizes its responsibility to provide up-to-date information to inform decision-making. Thus, the NCCN Guidelines process is an ongoing, continual process.”

NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology are available free of charge on CD-ROM. These can be ordered from NCCN by calling 215-690-0300. The guidelines can also be found at

About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 27 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

The NCCN Member Institutions are:

  • Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center
  • Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute
  • 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
  • University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center
  • Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
  • Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital