National Comprehensive Cancer Network

About NCCN

NCCN provides oncology training for nearly 200 medical professionals in Philadelphia

A record number of individuals participated in the first NCCN Oncology Case Management Program™ to be held in Philadelphia on December 11 & 12, 2008. The training program, which is offered at no cost to participants, provides case managers, medical directors, and clinical pharmacists with a comprehensive overview of important issues in cancer care.

December 16, 2008

FORT WASHINGTON, PA — With the recent news that cancer is expected to be the world’s new leading cause of death by 2010, it is crucial that individuals who help manage patients with cancer are educated on the latest advances in oncology care. Close to 200 case managers, medical directors, and other medical professionals from Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey recently became students for the day, learning from national experts about important issues in oncology and resources available to assist in their management of patients. The educational program was offered by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) through its Oncology Case Management Program™.

The program focused on topics that are central to case managers’ needs including an overview of complex, aggressive, or uncommon cancers, when and why to refer patients to a major cancer center, understanding and using the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology™ and NCCN Drugs and Biologics Compendium™, communicating with patients about end-of-life issues, understanding emerging technologies and therapeutics, and the role and design of clinical trials in cancer care.

“Patients with cancer often turn to case managers as a trusted source of information and guidance on appropriate treatment, yet most do not have oncology backgrounds and work with these patients as only one aspect of their job responsibilities,” says Patricia J. Goldsmith, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, NCCN. “We’re pleased to be able to provide case managers, as well as medical directors and clinical pharmacists, with an opportunity to learn about clinical concepts from top experts in the field in a clear and understandable way. By educating these individuals and providing them with reliable resources, we support our goal of improving the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of oncology care so patients can live better lives.”

Featured speakers from NCCN Member Institutions included Sloan B. Karver, MD, from H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute who spoke about the challenging and emotional topic of addressing end-of-life care and hospice issues, Paul F. Engstom, MD, from Fox Chase Cancer Center, who provided a comprehensive and engaging overview of oncology care today as well as describing the process and design of clinical trials in cancer care, and Wallace Ackerley, MD, from Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, who discussed cutting-edge technology and pharmaceuticals being incorporated into cancer care.

Comments from participants included:
“The physicians were fabulous and able to present a large amount of comprehensive information in clear and concise language that I could understand.”

“Excellent program. The topics presented enhanced my knowledge immensely. I will certainly refer to the clinical guidelines and the NCCN website, and discuss with patients the importance of utilizing the correct resources at the most opportune time in cancer diagnosis and treatment.”

“I will apply this information and knowledge in evaluating and assessing patients. I will confidently refer members to resources and facilitates that are better able to help them with their diagnosis.”

The NCCN Oncology Case Management Program™ was originally developed in 2006 to educate and inform case managers of important issues in the management of patients with cancer, and has expanded to include payor medical directors, clinical pharmacists, and a broader range of major payor organizations. To date, the program has educated more than 1200 case managers, medical directors, and clinical pharmacists across the United States. Held in Philadelphia for the first time, NCCN had a record number of attendees participate in the program, causing organizers to upgrade to a larger conference room. Oncology Case Management Programs for 2009 are currently being scheduled. For additional information, contact Liz Danielson 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 Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • 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 Rogel 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