National Comprehensive Cancer Network

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NCCN Breast Cancer Outcomes Project Plays Significant Role in Research

NCCN Oncology Outcomes Database used in sentinel node biopsy study

JENKINTOWN, PA, October 28, 2003 – A study published in the October 15 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests that sentinel node biopsy is emerging as the standard of care in the five major comprehensive cancer centers that participated in the study. If such acceptance occurs more broadly, say the authors, it may impact clinical trials currently underway. Researchers from five participating National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) member institutions used data from the NCCN Oncology Outcomes Database, a source which has the unique benefit of being able to track breast cancer patients participating and not participating in clinical trials.

“The publication of this important study highlights the tremendous capabilities of the NCCN Oncology Outcomes Database to track the introduction and diffusion of important new technologies,” said William T. McGivney, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of NCCN. “Additionally, the database can monitor practice patterns, concordance of practice to NCCN guideline recommendations, and the outcomes of such care. It is a tool useful to clinicians for the continual improvement of the care we provide to cancer patients.”

“The NCCN Breast Cancer Database is a remarkable and powerful resource,” said lead author Stephen B. Edge, MD, of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Co-authors of the study were Joyce C. Niland, PhD, City of Hope Cancer Center; Michael A. Bookman, MD, Fox Chase Cancer Center; Richard L. Theriault, MD, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center; Rebecca Ottesen, MS, City of Hope Cancer Center; Eva Lepisto, MSc, National Comprehensive Cancer Network; and Jane C. Weeks, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The NCCN Oncology Outcomes Database, established in 1997, is a rich resource repository of data and information for clinical and health services research investigators. NCCN, an alliance of 19 of the world`s leading cancer centers, has three major integrated databases that form the infrastructure of the oncology outcomes project: breast cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and cancer pain assessment and management. The breast cancer database is the most mature of the three. It includes data from 12 NCCN member institutions and seven community affiliates and follows more than 14,000 patients longitudinally. This database collects about 300 data elements on these patients in the areas of socio-demographics, clinical interventions, and outcomes. The high quality of the data is assured by internal logic and quality checks, as well as annual on-site audits.

“NCCN is very excited to see this paper come to fruition,” said Dr. McGivney. “We applaud the efforts of the authors, and give our thanks to our member institutions who supported their work.”

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