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Highlights from the NCCN 20th Annual Conference Include Expert Roundtables, Presentation of New and Updated Treatment Guidelines

Approximately 1,500 oncology representatives attended the NCCN 20th Annual Conference, which featured presentations of the latest developments in the treatment of more than 15 cancer types, as well as three expert roundtable discussions.

FORT WASHINGTON, PA — The NCCN 20th Annual Conference: Advancing the Standard of Cancer Care™ was hosted by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) from March 12 – 14, 2015 at The Diplomat in Hollywood, Florida. During this year’s conference, NCCN leadership commemorated two decades of evidence-based decision-making in cancer care with three expert roundtables, as well as presentations on two new NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) for Smoking Cessation and Global Resource Stratification: Cervical Cancer.

This year’s conference commenced with a keynote from Robert W. Carlson, MD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN, and presentation of a new 20th anniversary video produced for the event.

“Twenty years ago, 13 academic cancer centers that traditionally had been competitors came together to assure access of patients to high-quality cancer care with the common goal to improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of cancer care so that patients can live better lives,” said Dr. Carlson. “That commitment to and focus on the patient has always been central to NCCN and continues now with our alliance of 26 academic cancer centers.”

Conference attendees had the opportunity to attend track sessions that presented the latest treatment updates and research for more than 15 cancer types and, on Friday, March 13, two new NCCN Guidelines were presented.

The NCCN Guidelines for Smoking Cessation, presented by Panel Chair, Peter G. Shields, MD, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, include recommendations for evidence-based pharmacotherapy, behavior therapy, and close follow-up with retreatment, if necessary, for patients with cancer who are smokers.

To account for variability in available clinical treatment resources, NCCN published the first of three preliminary NCCN Guidelines for Global Resource Stratification™: Cervical Cancer. Presented to attendees by Dr. Carlson and Wui-Jin Koh, MD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Co-Chair of the NCCN Guidelines Panel for Cervical Cancer, the goal of the  preliminary NCCN Guidelines for Global Resource Stratification™ is to identify appropriate treatment at four resource levels and deliver a tool for health care providers to select optimal care for their resource setting.

The first of three roundtable discussions, 20 Years of Improving Cancer Care Together: An NCCN Roundtable Discussion,held Thursday, March 12, featured past and present NCCN leadership as they recalled the development, progression, and success of NCCN over the past 20 years. This year’s opening roundtable will be endured on NCCN.org.

Value-Based Decision-Making at the Bedside, the second roundtable of the conference held Friday, March 13, presented a forum for panelists to discuss and debate the optimal use of NCCN Guidelines and pathways as tools for value-based decision-making for physicians and patients, as well as the relationship between outcomes and cost when determining value. Disparities in defined value, agreed the panelists, pose significant challenges to oncology decision-makers.

The final roundtable, held Saturday, March 14, What are the Characteristics of an Optimal Clinical Practice Guideline?, covered the ideal process through which evidence-based recommendations of the NCCN Guidelines are developed, as well as ways in which they can be optimized and delivered in the future.

Also held on site during the 20th Annual Conference were the 2015 Nursing Program: Advancing Oncology Nursing™, the 2015 Oncology Fellows Program: New Horizons in Quality Cancer Care™, the fourth annual State Oncology Society Forum, and general poster sessions that featured study outcomes from more than 60 investigators, including the 2013 NCCN Foundation® Young Investigator Awards Recipients.

The NCCN 21st Annual Conference is scheduled for March 31 – April 2, 2016 in Hollywood, Florida. For more information, visit NCCN.org.


About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) is a not-for-profit alliance of 28 leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education. NCCN is dedicated to improving and facilitating quality, effective, efficient, and accessible cancer care so patients can live better lives. 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. By defining and advancing 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 around the world.

The NCCN Member Institutions are:

  • Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center
  • Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute
  • City of Hope National Medical 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