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David G. Pfister, Kie-Kian Ang, David M. Brizel, Barbara A. Burtness, Anthony J. Cmelak, A. Dimitrios Colevas, Frank Dunphy, David W. Eisele, Jill Gilbert, Maura L. Gillison, Robert I. Haddad, Bruce H. Haughey, Wesley L. Hicks Jr., Ying J. Hitchcock, Merrill S. Kies, William M. Lydiatt, Ellie Maghami, Renato Martins, Thomas McCaffrey, Bharat B. Mittal, Harlan A. Pinto, John A. Ridge, Sandeep Samant, Giuseppe Sanguineti, David E. Schuller, Jatin P. Shah, Sharon Spencer, Andy Trotti III, Randal S. Weber, Gregory T. Wolf and Frank Worden

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Michael H. Levy, Thomas Smith, Amy Alvarez-Perez, Anthony Back, Justin N. Baker, Susan Block, Shirley N. Codada, Shalini Dalal, Maria Dans, Jean S. Kutner, Elizabeth Kvale, Sumathi Misra, William Mitchell, Todd M. Sauer, David Spiegel, Linda Sutton, Robert M. Taylor, Jennifer Temel, Roma Tickoo, Susan G. Urba, Carin Van Zyl, Sharon M. Weinstein, Mary Anne Bergman and Jillian L. Scavone

The NCCN Guidelines for Palliative Care provide interdisciplinary recommendations on palliative care for patients with cancer. These NCCN Guidelines Insights summarize the NCCN panel’s discussions and guideline updates from 2013 and 2014. These include modifications/additions to palliative care screening and assessment protocols, new considerations for discussing the benefits and risks of anticancer therapy, and approaches to advance care planning. Recent updates focus on enhanced patient-centered care and seek to promote earlier integration of palliative care and advance care planning in oncology.

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R. Michael Tuttle, Douglas W. Ball, David Byrd, Gilbert H. Daniels, Raza A. Dilawari, Gerard M. Doherty, Quan-Yang Duh, Hormoz Ehya, William B. Farrar, Robert I. Haddad, Fouad Kandeel, Richard T. Kloos, Peter Kopp, Dominick M. Lamonica, Thom R. Loree, William M. Lydiatt, Judith McCaffrey, John A. Olson Jr., Lee Parks, John A. Ridge, Jatin P. Shah, Steven I. Sherman, Cord Sturgeon, Steven G. Waguespack, Thomas N. Wang and Lori J. Wirth

Overview There are 3 main histologic types of thyroid carcinoma: differentiated (including papillary, follicular, and Hürthle), medullary, and anaplastic (aggressive undifferentiated tumor). Of 53,856 patients treated for thyroid carcinoma between 1985 and 1995, 80% had papillary, 11% had follicular, 3% had Hürthle cell, 4% had medullary, and 2% had anaplastic thyroid carcinoma.1 These NCCN guidelines focus on medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). Another NCCN guideline addresses papillary, follicular, Hürthle cell, and anaplastic thyroid carcinomas (see NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Thyroid Carcinoma [to view the most recent version of these guidelines, visit the NCCN Web site at www.NCCN.org]). MTC derives from the neuroendocrine parafollicular calcitonin-producing (C) cells of the thyroid.2–4 Sporadic MTC accounts for approximately 80% of all cases of the disease. The remaining cases consist of inherited tumor syndromes, such as multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A (MEN 2A), which is the most common type; MEN 2B; or familial MTC.5,6 Sporadic disease typically presents in the fifth or sixth decade. Familial forms of the disease tend to present at earlier ages.2 Because the C cells are predominantly located in the upper portion of each thyroid lobe, patients with sporadic disease typically present with upper pole thyroid nodules. Metastatic cervical adenopathy appears in approximately 50% of patients at initial presentation. Symptoms of upper aerodigestive tract compression or invasion are reported by up to 15% of patients with sporadic disease.7 Symptoms from distant metastases in the lungs or bones occur in 5% to 10% of patients. The ability of the tumor to...
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R. Michael Tuttle, Douglas W. Ball, David Byrd, Raza A. Dilawari, Gerard M. Doherty, Quan-Yang Duh, Hormoz Ehya, William B. Farrar, Robert I. Haddad, Fouad Kandeel, Richard T. Kloos, Peter Kopp, Dominick M. Lamonica, Thom R. Loree, William M. Lydiatt, Judith C. McCaffrey, John A. Olson Jr., Lee Parks, John A. Ridge, Jatin P. Shah, Steven I. Sherman, Cord Sturgeon, Steven G. Waguespack, Thomas N. Wang and Lori J. Wirth

Overview Epidemiology Thyroid nodules are approximately 4 times more common in women than in men. Palpable nodules increase in frequency throughout life, reaching a prevalence of approximately 5% in the United States population aged 50 years and older.1–3 Nodules are even more prevalent when the thyroid gland is examined at autopsy or surgery, or when using ultrasonography, and 50% of these have nodules, which are almost always benign.2,4 New nodules develop at a rate of approximately 0.1% per year beginning in early life, but at a much higher rate (∼2% per year) after exposure to head and neck irradiation.5,6 By contrast, thyroid carcinoma is uncommon. For the United States population, the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with thyroid carcinoma is less than 1% (0.83% for women and 0.33% for men).7 Approximately 37,200 new cases of thyroid carcinoma were diagnosed in the United States in 2009.8 As with thyroid nodules, thyroid carcinoma occurs 2 to 3 times more often in women than in men. With the incidence increasing by 6.2% per year, thyroid carcinoma is currently the sixth most common malignancy diagnosed in women.8 Among persons age 15 to 24 years, thyroid carcinoma accounts for 7.5% to 10% of all diagnosed malignancies.9–11 The disease is also diagnosed more often in white North Americans than in African Americans. Although thyroid carcinoma can occur at any age, the peak incidence from 2004 to 2006 was near age 45 to 49 years in women and 65 to 69 years in men.7 Thyroid carcinoma has...
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Eric Lu, George V. Thomas, Yiyi Chen, Alexander W. Wyatt, Paul Lloyd, Jack Youngren, David Quigley, Raymond Bergan, Shawna Bailey, Tomasz M. Beer, Felix Y. Feng, Eric J. Small and Joshi J. Alumkal

Background: PARP inhibition is a promising therapeutic strategy for the treatment of men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer whose tumors harbor homologous recombination DNA repair gene alterations. However, questions remain for many practicing clinicians about which patients are ideally suited for PARP inhibitor treatment. This report details our institutional experience using PARP inhibitor therapy in patients whose tumors harbored specific DNA repair gene alterations. Patients and Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review to identify patients at Oregon Health & Science University who were treated with PARP inhibition. We identified 8 patients and determined the impact of the specific DNA repair gene alterations on tumor response and time on treatment with PARP inhibition. Results: A number of DNA repair gene alterations were identified. Three patients had pathogenic BRCA2 mutations and one had a BRCA2 mutation of uncertain significance. Conversely, the 4 other patients' tumors harbored alterations in other DNA repair genes, none of which were clearly pathogenic. A statistically significant difference in benefit was seen between patients whose tumors harbored BRCA2 gene alterations and those whose tumors did not, as measured by >50% decline in prostate-specific antigen levels (100% vs 0%; P=.03) and duration on therapy (31.4 vs 6.4 weeks; P=.03). Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that not all DNA repair alterations are equally predictive of PARP inhibitor response. Importantly, all responding patients had tumors harboring BRCA2 DNA repair alterations, including one without a known pathogenic mutation. Conversely, among the 4 nonresponders, several DNA repair alterations in genes other than BRCA2 were identified that were not clearly pathogenic. This demonstrates the need to carefully examine the functional relevance of the DNA repair alterations identified, especially in genes other than BRCA2, when considering patients for PARP inhibitor treatment.

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Thomas A. D’Amico, Lindsey A.M. Bandini, Alan Balch, Al B. Benson III, Stephen B. Edge, C. Lyn Fitzgerald, Robert J. Green, Wui-Jin Koh, Michael Kolodziej, Shaji Kumar, Neal J. Meropol, James L. Mohler, David Pfister, Ronald S. Walters and Robert W. Carlson

Although oncology care has evolved, outcome assessment remains a key challenge. Outcome measurement requires identification and adoption of a succinct list of metrics indicative of high-quality cancer care for use within and across healthcare systems. NCCN established an advisory committee, the NCCN Quality and Outcomes Committee, consisting of provider experts from NCCN Member Institutions and other stakeholders, including payers and patient advocacy, community oncology, and health information technology representatives, to review the existing quality landscape and identify contemporary, relevant cancer quality and outcomes measures by reevaluating validated measures for endorsement and proposing new measure concepts to fill crucial gaps. This manuscript reports on 22 measures and concepts; 15 that align with existing measures and 7 that are new.

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Dawn Provenzale, Samir Gupta, Dennis J. Ahnen, Arnold J. Markowitz, Daniel C. Chung, Robert J. Mayer, Scott E. Regenbogen, Amie M. Blanco, Travis Bray, Gregory Cooper, Dayna S. Early, James M. Ford, Francis M. Giardiello, William Grady, Michael J. Hall, Amy L. Halverson, Stanley R. Hamilton, Heather Hampel, Jason B. Klapman, David W. Larson, Audrey J. Lazenby, Xavier Llor, Patrick M. Lynch, June Mikkelson, Reid M. Ness, Thomas P. Slavin Jr, Shajanpeter Sugandha, Jennifer M. Weiss, Mary A. Dwyer and Ndiya Ogba

The NCCN Guidelines for Colorectal Cancer (CRC) Screening outline various screening modalities as well as recommended screening strategies for individuals at average or increased-risk of developing sporadic CRC. The NCCN panel meets at least annually to review comments from reviewers within their institutions, examine relevant data, and reevaluate and update their recommendations. These NCCN Guidelines Insights summarize 2018 updates to the NCCN Guidelines, with a primary focus on modalities used to screen individuals at average-risk for CRC.

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Paul F. Engstrom, Juan Pablo Arnoletti, Al B. Benson III, Yi-Jen Chen, Michael A. Choti, Harry S. Cooper, Anne Covey, Raza A. Dilawari, Dayna S. Early, Peter C. Enzinger, Marwan G. Fakih, James Fleshman Jr., Charles Fuchs, Jean L. Grem, Krystyna Kiel, James A. Knol, Lucille A. Leong, Edward Lin, Mary F. Mulcahy, Sujata Rao, David P. Ryan, Leonard Saltz, David Shibata, John M. Skibber, Constantinos Sofocleous, James Thomas, Alan P. Venook and Christopher Willett

Colon Cancer Clinical Practice Guidelines in OncologyNCCN Categories of Evidence and ConsensusCategory 1: The recommendation is based on high-level evidence (e.g., randomized controlled trials) and there is uniform NCCN consensus.Category 2A: The recommendation is based on lower-level evidence and there is uniform NCCN consensus.Category 2B: The recommendation is based on lower-level evidence and there is nonuniform NCCN consensus (but no major disagreement).Category 3: The recommendation is based on any level of evidence but reflects major disagreement.All recommendations are category 2A unless otherwise noted.Clinical trials: The NCCN believes that the best management for any cancer patient is in a clinical trial. Participation in clinical trials is especially encouraged.OverviewColorectal cancer is the fourth most frequently diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. In 2009, an estimated 106,100 new cases of colon and 40,870 cases of rectal cancer will occur. During the same year, it is estimated that 49,920 people will die from colon and rectal cancer.1 Despite these statistics, mortality from colon cancer has decreased slightly over the past 30 years, possibly due to earlier diagnosis through screening and better treatment modalities.This manuscript summarizes the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for managing colon cancer. The guidelines begin with clinical presentation to the primary care physician or gastroenterologist and address diagnosis, pathologic staging, surgical management, adjuvant treatment, management of recurrent and metastatic disease, and patient surveillance. When reviewing these guidelines, clinicians should be aware of...
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Paul F. Engstrom, Juan Pablo Arnoletti, Al B. Benson III, Yi-Jen Chen, Michael A. Choti, Harry S. Cooper, Anne Covey, Raza A. Dilawari, Dayna S. Early, Peter C. Enzinger, Marwan G. Fakih, James Fleshman Jr., Charles Fuchs, Jean L. Grem, Krystyna Kiel, James A. Knol, Lucille A. Leong, Edward Lin, Mary F. Mulcahy, Sujata Rao, David P. Ryan, Leonard Saltz, David Shibata, John M. Skibber, Constantinos Sofocleous, James Thomas, Alan P. Venook and Christopher Willett

Rectal Cancer Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology NCCN Categories of Evidence and Consensus Category 1: The recommendation is based on high-level evidence (e.g., randomized controlled trials) and there is uniform NCCN consensus. Category 2A: The recommendation is based on lower-level evidence and there is uniform NCCN consensus. Category 2B: The recommendation is based on lower-level evidence and there is nonuniform NCCN consensus (but no major disagreement). Category 3: The recommendation is based on any level of evidence but reflects major disagreement. All recommendations are category 2A unless otherwise noted. Clinical trials: The NCCN believes that the best management for any cancer patient is in a clinical trial. Participation in clinical trials is especially encouraged. Overview In 2009 an estimated 40,870 new cases of rectal cancer will occur in the United States (23,580 cases in men; 17,290 cases in women). During the same year, an estimated 49,920 people will die from rectal and colon cancers.1 Although colorectal cancer is ranked as the fourth most frequently diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, mortality from colorectal cancer has decreased during the past 30 years. This decrease may be due to earlier diagnosis through screening and better treatment modalities. The recommendations in these clinical practice guidelines are classified as category 2A except where noted, meaning that there is uniform NCCN consensus, based on lower-level evidence (including...
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Paul F. Engstrom, Juan Pablo Arnoletti, Al B. Benson III, Jordan D. Berlin, J. Michael Berry, Yi-Jen Chen, Michael A. Choti, Harry S. Cooper, Raza A. Dilawari, Dayna S. Early, Peter C. Enzinger, Marwan G. Fakih, James Fleshman Jr., Charles Fuchs, Jean L. Grem, James A. Knol, Lucille A. Leong, Edward Lin, Mary F. Mulcahy, Eric Rohren, David P. Ryan, Leonard Saltz, David Shibata, John M. Skibber, William Small Jr., Constantinos Sofocleous, James Thomas, Alan P. Venook and Christopher Willett

Overview An estimated 5290 new cases (2100 men and 3190 women) of anal cancer (involving the anus, anal canal, or anorectum) will occur in the United States in 2009, accounting for approximately 1.9% of digestive system cancers, and an estimated 710 deaths due to anal cancer. Although considered to be a rare type of cancer, the incidence rate of invasive anal carcinoma in the United States increased by approximately 1.6-fold for men and 1.5-fold for women from 1973-1979 to 1994-2000 (see Risk Factors, facing page). This manuscript summarizes the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for managing squamous cell anal carcinoma, which represents the most common histologic form of the disease. Other types of cancers occurring in the anal region are addressed in other NCCN guidelines (i.e., anal adenocarcinoma and anal melanoma are managed according to the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology on Rectal Cancer and Melanoma, respectively). Except where noted, the recommendations in these guidelines are classified as category 2A, meaning that uniform NCCN consensus was present among the panel based on lower-level evidence that the recommendation is appropriate. The panel unanimously endorses patient participation in a clinical trial over standard or accepted therapy. Risk Factors Anal carcinoma has been associated with human papilloma virus (HPV) infection (anal-genital warts); history of receptive anal intercourse or sexually transmitted disease; history of cervical, vulvar, or vaginal cancer; immunosuppression after solid organ transplantation or HIV infection; and smoking. Currently, the association between anal carcinoma and persistent infection with a high-risk form...