NCCN Guidelines® & Clinical Resources
About the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®)
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. NCCN offers a number of programs to give clinicians access to tools and knowledge that can help guide decision-making in the management of cancer.
Over the past 25 years, NCCN has developed an integrated suite of tools to improve the quality of cancer care. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) document evidence-based, consensus-driven management to ensure that all patients receive preventive, diagnostic, treatment, and supportive services that are most likely to lead to optimal outcomes.
The NCCN Guidelines® are a comprehensive set of guidelines detailing the sequential management decisions and interventions that currently apply to 97 percent of cancers affecting patients in the United States. In addition, separate guidelines provide recommendations for some of the key cancer prevention and screening topics as well as supportive care considerations. The NCCN Guidelines provide recommendations based on the best evidence available at the time they are derived. Because new data are published continuously, it is essential that the NCCN Guidelines also be continuously updated and revised to reflect new data and clinical information that may add to or alter current clinical practice standards. The intent of the NCCN Guidelines is to assist in the decision-making process of individuals involved in cancer care—including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, payers, patients and their families—with the ultimate goal of advancing patient care in the fight against cancer.
The NCCN Guidelines are composed of several critical components, as follows:
- listing of panel members providing institutional affiliations and specialties;
- algorithms or decision pathways outlining the step-by-step clinical decision-making process for patient management;
- discussion text summarizing the data the recommendations are based upon and the important issues considered in interpreting the data and developing the algorithms;
- listing of references providing the evidence on which recommendations are based; and
- disclosure of potential conflicts of interest of panel members and NCCN headquarters staff.
The NCCN Guidelines are developed and updated by 52 individual panels, comprising over 1,275 clinicians and oncology researchers from the 27 NCCN Member Institutions. These panel members are multidisciplinary, disease-specific subspecialists who are both clinicians and researchers. In addition, each guideline undergoes annual institutional review where it is circulated for comment among the multidisciplinary faculty at each NCCN Member Institution.
Further details on the Development and Update of the NCCN Guidelines are available, which provide information on the composition and roles of the NCCN Guidelines development group, policies for transparency and management of potential conflicts of interest, and the Guidelines development and updates process.