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NCCN Task Force Develops Clinical Recommendations for PET in Cancer Evaluation and Management

JENKINTOWN, Pa., June 5, 2007 — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) will publish a special report entitled NCCN Task Force Report: Positron Emission Tomography (PET)/Computed Tomography (CT) Scanning in Cancer as a supplement to the May issue of its journal. The report is the work of a Task Force convened by NCCN to develop clinical recommendations for the use of PET and PET/CT in the evaluation and management of certain types of cancer.

PET is a non-invasive imaging technique used frequently to detect cancer and assess the effects of cancer treatment. However, PET is more costly than other traditional types of imaging. The report, to be published in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (JNCCN), addresses this challenge and offers recommendations as to when PET is appropriate and most useful.

The Task Force, made up of expert radiologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists and medical oncologists from NCCN Member Institutions, studied existing data to create their recommendations. According to the Task Force Report, “The role of PET or PET/CT scans in oncology is rapidly evolving, with well-defined roles in the common malignancies of breast, lung, colorectal cancer, and lymphoma.” In response to concerns about economics, the report suggests that PET can sometimes reduce costs. For example, PET scans can be cost-saving when the results are used to prevent unnecessary surgeries.

“The role of PET or PET/CT scans in oncology is rapidly evolving,” said Donald Podoloff, MD, chair of the Task Force and head of the Division of Diagnostic Imaging at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. “With the collective expertise of this Task Force, we were able to make recommendations for appropriate use of this technology. As a result, we hope that PET and PET/CT will demonstrate its cost effectiveness and value to patients, physicians and managed care providers. The rapid acceptance of PET/CT is a testimony to the unique, noninvasive and important information it provides to oncologists as they manage their patients.”

The report will be published as a supplement to JNCCN, a nationally recognized, peer-reviewed medical journal received by more than 21,000 oncologists and other cancer care professionals across the United States.

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