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Oncology Experts to Deliberate Tissue Allocation Issues at Upcoming NCCN Policy Summit

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) will host Emerging Issues in Tissue Allocation, on June 8, 2015, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

FORT WASHINGTON, PA — Tissue allocation is a growing issue of concern for many researchers due, in part, to expanding research interests in precision medicine. The increased demand by pharmaceutical and biotech companies for patient tissue specimens collected for clinical care and trials presents clinical, ethical, and legal issues.

In response to growing concerns, as part of its Oncology Policy Program, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) will host its Policy Summit: Emerging Issues in Tissue Allocation, on June 8, 2015, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

“At NCCN, we believe it is part of our mission to address the issues of all stakeholders in oncology research, especially patients,” said Robert W. Carlson, MD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN. “The mounting concerns surrounding tissue allocation are indeed a pertinent issue in oncology research today, and stakeholders must recognize that human specimens represent a valuable and unique patient resource that must have proper acquisition and management in accordance with best practices for biospecimen resources.”

In March, NCCN convened its Tissue Allocation Work Group charged with discussing areas of concern and establishing best practices to address emerging issues around tissue allocations. Members of the Work Group represent clinicians, pathologists, clinical and translational investigators, industry, patient advocacy groups, and institutional review boards. Findings and conclusions of the Work Group will be presented during the policy summit.

“The NCCN Tissue Allocation Work Group is identifying potential shared goals across academia, industry, non-profits, and government in order to establish best practices for collection and custodianship of high-quality samples to serve both diagnostic and research purposes,” said Daniel Sullivan, MD, Associate Center Director, Clinical Science, Moffitt Cancer Center. Dr. Sullivan is co-chair of the NCCN Work Group.

Moderated by Clifford Goodman, PhD, The Lewin Group, the June policy summit will be a forum for stakeholders from across the policy space to discuss increasing demands on tissue and the subsequent impact on research and clinical care. In addition to the Work Group findings, the summit will consist of short presentations and panels.

Presenters include Kenneth Bloom, MD, GE Healthcare, who will discuss efforts to establish pre-analytical standards; and Tom Flotte, MD, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, and Veronique Neumeister, MD, Yale School of Medicine, who will discuss tissue practices at their respective academic cancer centers.

The event will include two roundtable discussions. The first panel, focused on clinical issues, features Carlos Arteaga, MD, American Association for Cancer Research; Phil Branton, MD, College of American Pathologists; Jeffrey W. Clark, MD, Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center | Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center; Marisa Dolled-Filhart, PhD, Merck; Dr. Flotte; and Roslyn Meyer, PhD, Yale University School of Medicine.

The second panel discussion, exploring regulatory, policy, ethical, and patient concerns, features Judith Carrithers, JD, MPA, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins; Anitra Engebretson, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network; Hank Greely, JD, Stanford Law School; and Nadia Haque, PhD, Genentech.

To view the full agenda or to register, visit NCCN.org/policy.

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 NCCN.org.

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