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NCCN Announces Important Updates to Cancer- and Treatment-Related Anemia Guidelines

JENKINTOWN, Pa., May 10, 2006 — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) announces updates to the NCCN Cancer- and Treatment-Related Anemia 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 Cancer- and Treatment-Related Anemia panel recently updated the guidelines to version 2.2006 due to the FDA approval of darbepoetin (Aranesp, Amgen) 500 mcg once every 3 weeks. The approval was based on data from a double-blind phase III study in 705 patients who were randomized to receive 500 mcg of darbepoetin alfa every 3 weeks or 2.25 mcg/kg of darbepoetin alfa once weekly for 15 weeks. This dosing schedule was added to the guidelines as a treatment option for erythropoietic therapy. In addition, response assessment and determination of subsequent erythropoietic therapy was previously based on hemoglobin response alone and the panel added the recommendation to continue erythropoietic therapy if the patient`s hemoglobin level is stable (within 1-2 g/dL of baseline) while receiving chemotherapy.

The area of cancer therapeutics is rapidly advancing. All constituencies (for example, physicians, patients, payors) in the cancer community look to the NCCN Guidelines as the most up-to-date, authoritative source of sound, scientific information to inform and improve decision-making. The NCCN remains committed to a guideline process that communicates to all, free of charge, recommendations about appropriate care,” 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 of the world's 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