Defining treatment-susceptible or -resistant populations of patients with cancer through the use of genetically defined biomarkers has revolutionized cancer care in recent years for some disease/patient groups. Research continues to show that histologically defined diseases are diverse in their expression of unique mutations or other genetic alterations, however, which presents opportunities for the development of personalized cancer treatments, but increased difficulty in testing these therapies, because potential patient populations are divided into ever smaller numbers. To address some of the growing challenges in biomarker development and clinical trial design, NCCN assembled a group of experts across specialties and solid tumor disease types to begin to define the problems and to consider alternate ways of designing clinical trials in the era of multiple biomarkers and targeted therapies. Results from that discussion are presented, focusing on issues of clinical trial design from the perspective of statisticians, clinical researchers, regulators, pathologists, and information developers.
Alan P. Venook, Maria E. Arcila, Al B. Benson III, Donald A. Berry, David Ross Camidge, Robert W. Carlson, Toni K. Choueiri, Valerie Guild, Gregory P. Kalemkerian, Razelle Kurzrock, Christine M. Lovly, Amy E. McKee, Robert J. Morgan, Anthony J. Olszanski, Mary W. Redman, Vered Stearns, Joan McClure and Marian L. Birkeland
Elizabeth A. Nardi, James McCanney, Katy Winckworth-Prejsnar, Alyssa A. Schatz, Kerin Adelson, Marcus Neubauer, Mary Lou Smith, Ronald Walters and Robert W. Carlson
Quality measurement in oncology is increasing in significance as payment schemes shift from volume to value. As demand for quality measures increases, challenges in the development of quality measures, standardization across measures, and the limitations of health information technology have become apparent. Moreover, the time and financial burden associated with developing, tracking, and reporting quality measures are substantial. Despite these challenges, best practices and leaders in the field of quality measurement in oncology have emerged. To understand the current challenges and promising practices in quality measurement and to explore future considerations for measure development and measure reporting in oncology, NCCN convened the NCCN Policy Summit: Redefining Quality Measurement in Oncology. The summit included discussion of the current quality landscape and efforts to develop quality measures, use of quality measures in various programs, patient perspective of quality, and challenges and best practices for quality reporting.
Katy Winckworth-Prejsnar, James McCanney, Alyssa A. Schatz, Warren Smedley, Leonidas C. Platanias, Cecil M. Benitez, Lee N. Newcomer, C. Lyn Fitzgerald and Robert W. Carlson
Multiple factors are forcing the healthcare delivery system to change. A movement toward value-based payment models is shifting these systems to team-based integration and coordination of care for better efficiencies and outcomes. Workforce shortages are stressing access and quality of care for patients with cancer and survivors, and their families and caregivers. Innovative therapies are expensive, forcing payers and employers to prioritize resources. Patients are advocating for care models centered on their needs rather than those of providers. In response, payment policies have recently focused on the promotion of alternative payment models that incentivize coordinated, high-quality care with consideration for value and controlling the increasing overall costs associated with cancer and its treatment. Given the multitude of factors confounding cancer care, NCCN convened a multistakeholder working group to examine the challenges and opportunities presented by changing paradigms in cancer care delivery. The group identified key challenges and developed policy recommendations to address 4 high-visibility topics in cancer care delivery. The findings and recommendations were then presented at the NCCN Policy Summit: Policy Challenges and Opportunities to Address Changing Paradigms in Cancer Care Delivery in September 2018, and multistakeholder roundtable panel discussions explored these findings and recommendations along with additional items. This article encapsulates the discussion from the NCCN Working Group meetings and the NCCN Policy Summit, including multistakeholder policy recommendations on delivery issues in cancer care designed to help inform national policies moving forward.
Robert W. Carlson, Jillian L. Scavone, Wui-Jin Koh, Joan S. McClure, Benjamin E. Greer, Rashmi Kumar, Nicole R. McMillian and Benjamin O. Anderson
More than 14 million new cancer cases and 8.2 million cancer deaths are estimated to occur worldwide on an annual basis. Of these, 57% of new cancer cases and 65% of cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Disparities in available resources for health care are enormous and staggering. The WHO estimates that the United States and Canada have 10% of the global burden of disease, 37% of the world's health workers, and more than 50% of the world's financial resources for health; by contrast, the African region has 24% of the global burden of disease, 3% of health workers, and less than 1% of the world's financial resources for health. This disparity is even more extreme with cancer. NCCN has developed a framework for stratifying the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) to help health care systems in providing optimal care for patients with cancer with varying available resources. This framework is modified from a method developed by the Breast Health Global Initiative. The NCCN Framework for Resource Stratification (NCCN Framework) identifies 4 resource environments: basic resources, core resources, enhanced resources, and NCCN Guidelines, and presents the recommendations in a graphic format that always maintains the context of the NCCN Guidelines. This article describes the rationale for resource-stratified guidelines and the methodology for developing the NCCN Framework, using a portion of the NCCN Cervical Cancer Guideline as an example.
Tiffany H. Svahn, Joyce C. Niland, Robert W. Carlson, Melissa E. Hughes, Rebecca A. Ottesen, Richard L. Theriault, Stephen B. Edge, Anne F. Schott, Michael A. Bookman and Jane C. Weeks
After the first report of the ATAC (Arimidex, Tamoxifen, Alone or in Combination) trial, adjuvant aromatase inhibitor use increased rapidly among National Comprehensive Cancer Network member institutions. Increased aromatase inhibitor use was associated with older age, vascular disease, overexpression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), or more advanced stage, and substantial variation was seen among institutions. This article examines adjuvant endocrine therapy in postmenopausal women after the first report of the trial, identifies temporal relationships in aromatase inhibitor use, and examines characteristics associated with choice of endocrine therapy among 4044 postmenopausal patients with hormone receptor–positive nonmetastatic breast cancer presenting from July 1997 to December 2004. Multivariable logistic regression analysis examined temporal associations and characteristics associated with aromatase inhibitor use. Time-trend analysis showed increased aromatase inhibitor and decreased tamoxifen use after release of ATAC results (P < .0001). In multivariable regression analysis, institution (P <. 0001), vascular disease (P <. 0001), age (P = .0002), stage (P = .0002), and HER2 status (P = .0009) independently predicted aromatase inhibitor use. Institutional rates of use ranged from 15% to 66%. Adjuvant aromatase inhibitor use increased after the first report of ATAC, with this increase associated with older age, vascular disease, overexpression of HER2, or more advanced stage. Substantial variation was seen among institutions.
D. Craig Allred, Robert W. Carlson, Donald A. Berry, Harold J. Burstein, Stephen B. Edge, Lori J. Goldstein, Allen Gown, M. Elizabeth Hammond, James Dirk Iglehart, Susan Moench, Lori J. Pierce, Peter Ravdin, Stuart J. Schnitt and Antonio C. Wolff
The NCCN Task Force on Estrogen Receptor and Progesterone Receptor Testing in Breast Cancer by Immunohistochemistry was convened to critically evaluate the extent to which the presence of the estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PgR) biomarkers in breast cancer serve as prognostic and predictive factors in the adjuvant and metastatic settings, and the ability of immunohistochemical (IHC) detection of ER and PgR to provide an accurate assessment of the expression of these biomarkers in breast cancer tumor tissue. The task force is a multidisciplinary panel of 13 experts in breast cancer who are affiliated with NCCN member institutions and represent the disciplines of pathology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, and biostatistics. The main overall conclusions of the task force are ER is a strong predictor of response to endocrine therapy; ER status of all samples of invasive breast cancer or ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) should be evaluated by IHC; IHC measurements of PgR, although not as important clinically as ER, can provide useful information and should also be performed on all samples of invasive breast cancer or DCIS; IHC is the main testing strategy for evaluating ER and PgR in breast cancer and priority should be given to improve the quality of IHC testing methodologies; all laboratories performing IHC assays of ER and PgR should undertake formal validation studies to show both technical and clinical validation of the assay in use; and all laboratories performing IHC assays of hormone receptors in breast cancer should follow additional quality control and assurance measures as outlined in the upcoming guidelines from the American Society of Clinical Oncology and College of American Pathologists.
Elizabeth A. Nardi, Julie A. Wolfson, Steven T. Rosen, Robert B. Diasio, Stanton L. Gerson, Barbara A. Parker, Joseph C. Alvarnas, Harlan A. Levine, Yuman Fong, Dennis D. Weisenburger, C. Lyn Fitzgerald, Maggie Egan, Sharon Stranford, Robert W. Carlson and Edward J. Benz Jr
Key challenges facing the oncology community today include access to appropriate, high quality, patient-centered cancer care; defining and delivering high-value care; and rising costs. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network convened a Work Group composed of NCCN Member Institution cancer center directors and their delegates to examine the challenges of access, high costs, and defining and demonstrating value at the academic cancer centers. The group identified key challenges and possible solutions to addressing these issues. The findings and recommendations of the Work Group were then presented at the Value, Access, and Cost of Cancer Care Policy Summit in September 2015 and multi-stakeholder roundtable panel discussions explored these findings and recommendations along with additional items.