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NCCN Announces Important Updates to Several Clinical Practice Guidelines

JENKINTOWN, Pa., January 27, 2006 — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) announces updates to the NCCN Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL), Hodgkin Disease/Lymphoma, Head and Neck Cancers and Gastric and Esophageal Cancers Guidelines. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology are widely recognized and applied as the standard for clinical policy in oncology in both the community practice setting and in academic cancer centers. These guidelines are used extensively by managed care companies and by Medicare as the basis for coverage policies. These guidelines are updated continually and are based upon evaluation of scientific data integrated with expert judgment.

The NCCN NHL Guidelines include recommendations for new regimens for the management of many subtypes of NHL. In Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma, rituximab (Rituxan, Genentech) should be administered with CHOP chemotherapy for induction therapy. Thalidomide (Thalomid, Celgene) in combination with rituximab was added as a new treatment option for second-line therapy in Mantle Cell Lymphoma.

Specific recommendations have been added to the NCCN Hodgkin Disease/Lymphoma Guidelines to monitor for late effects of therapy due to the risk of second cancers and cardiovascular disease.

The Head and Neck Cancers Guidelines emphasize patient risk factors in establishing treatment recommendations. Major risk factors, defined as extranodal spread and/or positive margins, warrant treatment with chemoradiation. Cetuximab (Erbitux, BMS/ImClone) is now included as a treatment option for recurrent or unresectable Head and Neck Cancers.

PET scan is now a recommended part of initial workup in the Gastric and Esophageal Cancer Guidelines. An updated listing of systemic therapy options is also included.

“NCCN Guidelines highlight the cutting-edge developments in treatment and are an essential tool for physicians, allied health professionals, patients and public and private payors,” said William T. McGivney, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of the NCCN.

For a detailed listing of all updates to the NCCN Guidelines, please go to www.nccn.org.

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