National Comprehensive Cancer Network

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Important Updates to the NCCN Drugs & Biologics Compendium™ Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa., September 10, 2008 — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network, (NCCN), announces important updates to the NCCN Drugs & Biologics Compendium™ Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. The following changes relate to use in the treatment of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer and are as follows:

  • Cetuximab (Erbitux, Bristol-Myers Squibb/ImClone Systems Incorporated) - First-line therapy for recurrence or metastasis in combination with vinorelbine and cisplatin for performance status 0-2 patients at least 18 years of age with NSCLC IIIB (pleural effusion)/IV, EGFR expression by immunohistochemistry (at least 1 positive tumor cell), no known brain metastases, and no prior chemotherapy or anti-EGFR therapy.
  • Paclitaxel, albumin bound (Abraxane, Abraxis Oncology/AstraZeneca) – Albumin-bound paclitaxel may be substituted for either paclitaxel or docetaxel in patients who have experienced hypersensitivity reactions after receiving paclitaxel or docetaxel despite premedication, or for patients in whom standard hypersensitivity premedications are contraindicated.
  • Pemetrexed (Alimta, Eli Lilly & Company) - First-line therapy for recurrence or metastasis in combination with cisplatin for performance status 0-1 patients with nonsquamous cell histology.
  • Pemetrexed (Alimta, Eli Lilly & Company) - Maintenance therapy until disease progression in performance status 0-2 patients with nonsquamous cell histology who have achieved tumor response or stable disease following recurrence or metastases.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and UnitedHealthcare have both announced that the NCCN Compendium is a reference used as a basis for coverage determinations. Other private payors are also using the NCCN Compendium. NCCN deems all indications for all drugs listed and recommended in the NCCN Compendium as medically accepted, medically appropriate, and medically necessary. In its June 5, 2008 decision, CMS stated: Indications that the NCCN Drugs & Biologics Compendium™ lists as Recommended will be considered medically accepted indications for the purposes of determining coverage policy.

Recommendations in the NCCN Drugs & Biologics Compendium™ are derived directly from the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology™. The NCCN Guidelines are widely accepted and applied as the standard for clinical policy in oncology. Visit for the latest updates to the NCCN Compendium and the NCCN Guidelines.

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