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Highlights of the NCCN 18th Annual Conference Include Expert Roundtables; Presentation of New NCCN Guidelines® for Survivorship

Experts from NCCN Member Institutions presented the New NCCN Guidelines for Survivorship, as well as participated in roundtables to explore the cost of cancer care and the changing landscape of oncology.

FORT WASHINGTON, PA — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) held the NCCN 18th Annual Conference: Advancing the Standard of Cancer Care™, March 13-17, 2013 at The Westin Diplomat in Hollywood, Florida. The latest updates in clinical practice decision-making in cancer care were presented, including, but not limited to, updates to the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) for Thyroid Carcinoma, as well as presentation of the new NCCN Guidelines® for Penile Cancer and Survivorship.

Following opening remarks from Robert W. Carlson, MD, CEO, NCCN, and keynote address from Amanda Bennett, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Executive Editor, Bloomberg News, and author of The Cost of Hope: A Memoir, a candid roundtable was led by Sam Donaldson, ABC News veteran and anchor, to discuss the cost of cancer care and the implications of uncertainty.

In some ways, said Ms. Bennett, we need to think a lot harder about the technology of understanding the `soft stuff`. There is a way of understanding uncertainty. There is a way of communicating uncertainty. There is a way of balancing out hope and trying, and yet understanding that it might not happen. I think that learning a little bit more about how to do that is very important.

A summary of the discussion is available at

On Thursday, March 14, 2013, NCCN Guidelines Panel Members presented the first-ever NCCN Guidelines for Survivorship. These new NCCN Guidelines cover eight distinct areas of survivorship: anxiety and depression, cognitive function, exercise, fatigue, immunizations and infections, pain, sexual function, and sleep disorders. NCCN Guidelines Panel Chair, Crystal S. Denlinger, MD, Attending Physician and Assistant Professor of Medical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, noted that the key to survivorship care is an accurate survivorship baseline assessment using recommendations provided in the NCCN Guidelines for Survivorship.

The NCCN Guidelines for Penile Cancer, which were added to the complete library of NCCN Guidelines in 2012, were also presented. There is a high degree of heterogeneity in how penile cancer is cared for across North America—and around the world—often utilizing non-evidence-based treatment approaches, said Phillipe E. Spiess, MD, MS, FACS, Associate Professor of Genitourinary Oncology, Moffitt Cancer Center, and NCCN Guidelines Panel Chair for Penile Cancer. The development of the NCCN Guidelines for Penile Cancer will be impactful in optimizing the care of patients faced with this relatively rare tumor type.

Attendees also learned about the latest additions to the NCCN Guidelines for Thyroid Carcinoma, including, but not limited to, a new section devoted to systemic therapy for anaplastic thyroid carcinoma.

The second roundtable of the conference, held Friday, March 15, 2013, brought together an expert panel of physicians representing a diverse group of stakeholders involved in cancer care. Moderated by Clifford Goodman, PhD, The Lewin Group, the discussion focused on the ever-evolving oncology landscape, as it pertains to current disparities in the quality and value of cancer care, the implementation of big data, and the shift to more personalized care and advanced care planning. A summary of the roundtable is available at

Also held on site during the NCCN 18th Annual Conference were the 2013 NCCN Nursing Program: Advancing Oncology Nursing™, the 2013 NCCN Fellows Recognition Program: New Horizons in Quality Cancer Care™, Meet the Experts Breakout Sessions, the second annual State Oncology Society Forum, and general poster sessions, which included 2011 NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Award recipients, among others.

The NCCN 19th Annual Conference is scheduled for March 12-16, 2014.

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