Rachel Darwin, Senior Manager, Public Relations
Brand new NCCN Guidelines® map out best practices for treating patients with AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma.
FORT WASHINGTON, PA [November 29, 2017] — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) –your best resource in the fight against cancer for more than two decades – has created a new resource for patients living with HIV who develop AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma. This newly-released NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) brings the total library to 68 NCCN Guidelines®. Additional NCCN Guidelines, devoted to overall cancer care for people living with HIV, will be released in early 2018.
"These new NCCN Guidelines for AIDS-Related Kaposi Sarcoma are a first step to ensuring that people living with HIV receive appropriate and equitable cancer treatment,” said Gita Suneja, MD, Duke Cancer Institute. Dr. Suneja is Co-Chair of the NCCN Guidelines Panel for AIDS-Related Kaposi Sarcoma. “NCCN recognizes the urgent need for cancer management guidelines in this special population of patients. The Guidelines Panel is comprised of experts from NCCN Member Institutions across the United States, including oncologists, HIV specialists, pharmacists, and patient advocates. In compiling these Guidelines, we learned a tremendous amount from each other and hope this will benefit clinicians and, most-importantly, patients living with HIV."
The incidence of AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma in people living with HIV has fallen dramatically in the United States in recent years thanks to advancements in HIV treatments. It is considered an AIDS-defining illness and was famously featured in the movie Philadelphia. The disease can be limited to skin lesions, which tend to respond well to treatment, but when more advanced it can be difficult to treat. There are also other types of Kaposi sarcoma that affect HIV-negative individuals; treatment recommendations for those cancers will be included in future updates of these guidelines.
NCCN Guidelines Panel Co-Chair Erin Reid, MD, of UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center further explained: “The NCCN Guidelines for AIDS-Related Kaposi Sarcoma fill an important gap in guidance for care of this rare but important malignancy. Although incidences have decreased, the disease remains one of the most common cancers occurring in persons living with HIV—not only in patients with newly diagnosed HIV infection or inadequate suppression of HIV, but also in people who otherwise appear to have maximum viral suppression and ‘normal’ CD4+ T cell counts.”
NCCN made the decision to create a panel devoted to AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma while working with the African Cancer Coalition, American Cancer Society, and Clinton Health Access Initiative to create the NCCN Harmonized Guidelines™ for Sub-Saharan Africa.
“While the medical community has made monumental strides toward reducing the impact of HIV and AIDS, there are still more than a million people living with HIV in the United States today,” explained Robert W. Carlson, MD, chief executive officer, NCCN. “That patient population is then diagnosed with cancer at a 50-percent higher rate than people in the general population. Our work with the African Cancer Coalition began as a way to help them with some of the particular health issues in their home countries. In the end, it also resulted in us finding new ways to expand our library of Guidelines for patients here at home.”
As with all NCCN Guidelines, the NCCN Guidelines for AIDS-Related Kaposi Sarcoma are available free of charge for non-commercial use online at NCCN.org. They can also be viewed via the Virtual Library of NCCN Guidelines mobile app for smartphones and tablets.
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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 devoted to patient care, research, and education, is dedicated to improving the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of cancer care so that 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. 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 NCCN Member Institutions are: Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, Omaha, NE; Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland, OH; City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA; Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center | Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, MA; Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, NC; Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA; Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle, WA; The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD; Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Chicago, IL; Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ, Jacksonville, FL, and Rochester, MN; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY; Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL; The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, Columbus, OH; Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY; Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN; Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford, CA; University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center, Birmingham, AL; UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, La Jolla, CA; UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA; University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, CO; University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, MI; The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Madison, WI; Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN; and Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital, New Haven, CT.
Robbins HA, Shiels MS, Pfeiffer RM, Engels EA. Epidemiologic contributions to recent cancer trends among HIV-infected people in the United States. AIDS 2014;28:881-890. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24300545.
 U.S. Statistics. HIV.gov; 2017. Available at https://www.hiv.gov/hiv-basics/overview/data-and-trends/statistics.