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NCCN 21st Annual Conference Convened Experts in Key Oncology Issues; New and Updated NCCN Guidelines Presented

More than 1,600 oncology professionals attended the NCCN 21st Annual Conference, which featured presentations of the latest developments in the treatment of more than 15 cancer types, as well as expert roundtables and panel discussions.

FORT WASHINGTON, PA —The NCCN 21st Annual Conference: Advancing the Standard of Cancer Care™ was hosted by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) from March 31 – April 2, 2016, at The Diplomat in Hollywood, Florida.

“This year’s conference was record-breaking, with the most attendees in its 21-year history,” said Robert W. Carlson, MD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN. “The breadth of topics presented at the conference certainly is a reflection of the impact that NCCN and the NCCN Guidelines have had on people with cancer and their families. We look forward to even further growth in 2017 as we move this conference to Orlando.”

During this year’s conference, NCCN convened expert panels on palliative care, cancer care in an election year, and breast cancer screening controversies. Moreover, attendees had the opportunity to attend track sessions on more than 15 cancer types and supportive care topics, as well as the newest NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) for Vulvar Cancer.

The NCCN Guidelines® for Vulvar Cancer, published in February 2016, were presented by NCCN Guidelines Panel Chairs, Wui-Jin Koh, MD, and Benjamin Greer, MD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. These Guidelines provide recommendations on the evaluation and treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the vulva and include principles of surgery, principles of radiation therapy, and systemic therapy.

NCCN Guidelines panel experts presented the latest treatment updates for a number of diseases, including breast, cervical, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, lung, and ovarian cancers; hematologic malignancies; as well as supportive care considerations and controversies in breast cancer screening.

Among the supportive care sessions was Cancer Pain Management: Strategies for Safe and Effective Opioid Prescribing, presented by Judith Paice, PhD, RN, FAAN, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. During this presentation, Dr. Paice described best practices for safe assessment in the management of chronic pain in people with cancer in order to avoid drug misuse and abuse.

Controversies in Breast Cancer Screening Strategies featured expert representatives from American Cancer Society, NCCN, and U.S. Preventive Services Task Force as they discussed the different breast cancer screening recommendations for U.S. women at average risk for the disease.

As part of the ongoing NCCN value initiative, Dr. Carlson, presented the NCCN Guidelines with NCCN Evidence Blocks™ alongside Eric Jonasch, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, who further discussed the implementation of the visual representation of five key value measurements into the NCCN Guidelines for Kidney Cancer. 

Moderated by Toby C. Campbell, MD, MSCI, University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, the opening roundtable held March 31, 2016, titled Palliative Care: Providing Comfort from a Patient and Provider Perspective, featured experts representing both the clinical and patient experience with palliative care. The multidisciplinary panel provided insight into the value of palliative care in the cancer care continuum, noting the importance of a team approach, early intervention, and an open, continuous dialogue.

The April 1 sessions commenced with the second expert roundtable, Emerging Issues in Oncology: Cancer Care in an Election Year, which featured pundits from both sides of the aisle as they deliberated on the future of health care in the United States and the challenges that the system will face during this election year. Moderated by Kavita Panel, MD, MSHS, The Brookings Institute, and Marc Samuels, JD, MPH, ADVI, panelists discussed challenges in payment reform, data sharing, and patient access.

Also held on site during the 21st Annual Conference were the 2016 Nursing Program: Advancing Oncology Nursing™, the 2016 NCCN Oncology Fellows Program: New Horizons in Quality Cancer Care™, the fifth annual State Oncology Society Forum, and general poster sessions that featured study outcomes from more than 70 presenters, including the 2014 NCCN Foundation® Young Investigator Award recipients.

The NCCN 22nd Annual Conference: Improving the Quality, Effectiveness, and Efficiency of Cancer Care™ will be held March 23 – 25, 2017 at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida.

For additional conference coverage, visit NCCN.org/news.

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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