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Muhammed Aasim Yusuf, Vinay Kumar Kapoor, Refaat Refaat Kamel, Ather Kazmi, Najam Uddin, Nehal Masood and Abdulmajeed Al-Abdulkareem

The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) on Hepatobiliary Cancers address hepatocellular cancer, cancer of the gallbladder, extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. Hepatocellular cancer incidence is higher in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region than in the West, and hepatitis B and C infections are particularly important; the incidence of gallbladder cancer is among the highest in the world. Regional problems include delay in diagnosis, shortage of trained staff, and insufficient liver transplant facilities. Furthermore, costs associated with molecular and targeted therapies are an increasing concern. A committee was formed, consisting of leading specialists and decision-makers from the region, with each member being tasked to suggest modifications to the existing guidelines based on review of the literature and consultations with local colleagues. This committee met as a group, and then continued to discuss and debate the suggested modifications electronically. Several recommendations were finalized after vigorous debate. The final approved recommendations were then presented in April 2009 to the chair of the NCCN Hepatobiliary Cancers Panel for onward transmission and approval. This project represents an effort to modify and implement the NCCN Guidelines on Hepatobiliary Cancers in the MENA region, while taking into consideration local differences in patient and disease characteristics. The hope is that this will form the basis of future local, regional, and international cooperation in guideline development and research.

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Abdul-Rahman Jazieh, Hanaa Bamefleh, Ahmet Demirkazik, Rabab Mohamed Gaafar, Fady B. Geara, Mansur Javaid, Jamal Khader, Kian Khodadad, Walid Omar, Ahmed Saadeddin, Hassan Al Sabe, Mohammad Behgam Shadmehr, Amgad El Sherif, Najam Uddin, Mohammad Jahanzeb and David Ettinger

A lung cancer committee from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region was established to modify the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) on Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer to create a platform for standard care in the region. The committee comprised different experts in thoracic oncology from the region, including the disciplines of medical and clinical oncology, radiation oncology, thoracic surgery, pulmonary medicine, radiology, and pathology. The committee reviewed version 2 of the 2009 NCCN Guidelines on Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer and identified recommendations requiring modification for the region using published evidence and relevant experience. These suggested modifications were discussed among the group and with a United States–based NCCN expert for approval. The recommended modifications, with justification and references, were categorized based on the NCCN Guidelines flow. This article describes these recommended modifications. The process of adapting the first NCCN-based guidelines in the region is a step toward helping to improve lung cancer care in the region and encouraging networking and collaboration.