National Comprehensive Cancer Network

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New Treatment Options Featured in NCCN Colorectal Clinical Practice Guidelines

JENKINTOWN, PA, April 20, 2004 – The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), an alliance of nineteen of the world’s leading cancer centers, announces an update of the NCCN Colorectal Clinical Practice Guidelines. NCCN’s Colon, Rectal, and Anal Cancer panel met recently to discuss incorporation of two newly approved agents into treatment regimens for advanced colon and rectal cancer and to modify recommendations for adjuvant therapy for node positive colon cancer.

Major changes include:

  • For first line therapy of advanced colon and rectal cancer, in patients who can tolerate intensive chemotherapy, the panel added recommendations for regimens using bevacizumab (Avastin™, Genentech) in combination with 5-FU based regimens including those using oxaliplatin or irinotecan to its list of treatment options.
  • For second line therapy of colon or rectal cancer in patients who either could not tolerate irinotecan or whose disease had proven refractory to irinotecan, the panel added cetuximab (Erbitux™, ImClone Systems Incorporated and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company) with or without irinotecan to its list of treatment options.
  • The 5-FU, leucovorin, and oxaliplatin (Eloxatin™, Sanofi-Synthelabo Inc.) combination is now considered an appropriate option for adjuvant therapy for node positive colon or rectal cancer patients whose primary tumor has been resected.

“NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology are widely recognized as the standard for clinical policy in oncology. Additionally, they are being used increasingly by managed care companies to help establish coverage policy,” said William T. McGivney, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of NCCN. “As such, the NCCN recognizes its responsibility to provide up-to-date information to inform decision-making. Thus, the NCCN Guidelines process is an ongoing, continual process.”

The most up-to-date versions of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology are available free of charge at Additionally, CD-ROMs of the NCCN Complete Library of Clinical Practice Guidelines can be ordered both on the NCCN Web site and by calling 215-690-0300.

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