National Comprehensive Cancer Network



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NCCN Updates Head and Neck Cancers Guidelines

JENKINTOWN, Pa., May 22, 2007 — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) announces updates to the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology™ - Head and Neck Cancers. The NCCN Guidelines are updated continuously by panels of world-renowned experts and are widely recognized and applied as the standard of care in oncology in the United States in both the community and the academic practice settings.

The NCCN Guidelines contain a newly modified risk categorization to assess whether patients should receive post-operative chemoradiation. The risk categorization lists potential major and minor risk features of the disease. Post-operative chemoradiation is indicated based on how many of these risk features a patient exhibits.

For cancers of the oropharynx, hypopharynx, and glottic and supraglottic larynx, cisplatin (Platinol® - AQ, Bristol-Myers Squibb) is now listed as the preferred agent if using the treatment option of concurrent systemic/radiation therapy. Cetuximab (Erbitux®, ImClone/Bristol-Myers Squibb) plus concurrent radiation therapy has been added as a systemic therapy option for unresectable and recurrent disease and for specific sites (eg, oropharynx, hypopharynx, glottic and supraglottic larynx). Definitive radiation therapy plus cetuximab was added for patients with advanced head and neck cancer not able to tolerate cytotoxic chemotherapy.

The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology™ are available free of charge at www.nccn.org.

About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 27 of the world's 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 NCCN.org.

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