New Pancreatic Cancer Guidelines for Patients Available From NCCN

The NCCN, with the support of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, announces the latest addition to the library of NCCN Guidelines for Patients, patient-friendly translations of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines). The NCCN Guidelines for Patients: Pancreatic Cancer are now available free of charge at NCCN.com and NCCN.org.

The NCCN Guidelines for Patients are designed to provide people with cancer and their caregivers with state-of-the-art treatment information in easy-to-understand language. According to the NCI, because of the nature of its symptoms, pancreatic cancer is often detected in the later stages of the disease; therefore, it is critical to provide resources which can help patients take a more active role in managing their care.

The NCCN Guidelines for Patients: Pancreatic Cancer are dedicated to patients diagnosed with any stage of the disease and are supported by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, a patient-based advocacy agency dedicated to advancing research, supporting patients, and creating hope for those affected by pancreatic cancer.

“We are proud to collaborate with NCCN on the creation of the patient guidelines for pancreatic cancer and incorporate them into our cadre of materials offered to patients and families through our Patient and Liaison Services program,” said Julie Fleshman, President and Chief Executive Officer at the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. “The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is committed to creating hope for those affected by the disease through research, patient support, and advocacy for a cure. These guidelines offer patients a new tool to better understand their diagnoses and take an active role in their own treatment.”

The NCCN Guidelines for Patients: Pancreatic Cancer were also made possible through an anonymous donation in the name of Dr. Randy Pausch, Professor of Computer Science, Human Computer Interaction, and Design at Carnegie Mellon University, whose famous Last Lecture was transcribed into an international bestselling book. Dr. Pausch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2007 and died in 2009. The NCCN Guidelines for Patients: Pancreatic Cancer are dedicated to the memory of Dr. Randy Pausch.

In announcing the publication of the NCCN Guidelines for Patients, NCCN’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Patricia Goldsmith acknowledged the importance of making this information available to the public. “I’m pleased to announce the availability of the NCCN Guidelines for Patients for pancreatic cancer. The NCCN Foundation is committed to making resources like the pancreatic cancer guidelines for patients readily available to empower patients and their caregivers. With generous support and collaboration from organizations like the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and private donors, NCCN continues to provide authoritative information and recommendations to people with cancer as quickly and effectively as possible,” said Ms. Goldsmith.

The NCCN Guidelines are developed by multidisciplinary panels of experts from NCCN Member Institutions and feature algorithms or “decision trees” that address every appropriate management option from initial workup throughout the course of the disease. The NCCN Guidelines for Patients translate the professional guidelines in a clear, step-by-step manner that people can use as the basis for making decisions and discussing treatment options with their physicians.

NCCN offers 10 other NCCN Guidelines for Patients, including breast, colon, non–small cell lung, ovarian, and prostate cancers, chronic myelogenous leukemia, malignant pleural mesothelioma, melanoma, multiple myeloma, and lung cancer screening. Additional NCCN Guidelines for Patients will be available throughout 2012.

Researchers Receive Grants From NCCN Oncology Research Program Funded Through Boehringer Ingelheim

The NCCN Oncology Research Program (ORP) recently awarded 5 research grants to investigators after NCCN ORP Scientific Review Committee analysis of proposals submitted in response to the NCCN Afatinib Request for Proposals. These grants were made possible through a $2 million research grant from Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to scientifically evaluate and define the clinical effectiveness of afatinib (BIBW 2992) in solid tumors, including breast, non–small cell lung (NSCLC), and head and neck cancers.

“NCCN ORP is pleased to announce the funding of 5 new afatinib investigator-initiated clinical research studies to be conducted at NCCN Member Institutions,” said Diane Paul, MS, RN, Vice President, ORP at NCCN. “These 5 new studies add to the more than 60 studies that are currently enrolling through the NCCN Oncology Research Program. These studies, conducted by NCCN Member Institutions, not only create opportunities for patients to participate in important clinical research but also make scientific discoveries more attainable. We are grateful for the support from Boehringer Ingelheim to make these research opportunities possible.”

Afatinib is an investigational oral, once-daily irreversible ErbB Family Blocker that specifically inhibits epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR or ErbB1), human epidermal receptor 2 (HER2 or ErbB2), and ErbB4. It is currently in phase III clinical development in NSCLC, head and neck, and breast cancers. Afatinib (BIBW 2992) is not approved by the FDA; its safety and efficacy have not been established.

The following proposals for afatinib have been awarded funding:

  • Matthew Fury, MD, PhD, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, “Phase I Study of Induction Chemotherapy with Afatinib, Ribavirin, and Weekly Carboplatin/Paclitaxel for Stage III/IVB HPV Associated Oropharynx Squamous Cell Cancer (OPSCC)”

  • Mark Kris, MD, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, “A Feasibility Trial of Afatinib + Chemoradiation (CRT) in Patients with EGFR-Mutated Locally Advanced, Unresectable Lung Cancers”

  • Danielle Margalit, MD, MPH, Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, “Phase I Study of Afatinib with Postoperative Radiation Therapy for Intermediate and High Risk Squamous Cancer of the Head and Neck (SCCHN)”

  • Shanthi Marur, MD, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, “Phase I/II Study of Afatinib/Carboplatin/Paclitaxel Induction Chemotherapy Followed by Standard Chemoradiation in HPV Negative Locally Advanced Stage III/Iva/IVb HNSCC”

  • Lecia Sequist, MD, MPH, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, “A Randomized Phase II Study Comparing Concise versus Prolonged Afatinib as Adjuvant Therapy for Stage I–III NSCLC with EGFR Mutation”

The awardees responded to a request for proposals issued by the NCCN ORP to the 21 NCCN Member Institutions. Submissions were peer reviewed by the NCCN Afatinib Scientific Review Committee. The awardees were selected based on several key criteria, including scientific merit, existing data, and the types of studies necessary to further evaluate the activity of afatinib.

The NCCN ORP is organized to obtain funding to support scientifically meritorious research projects at NCCN Member Institutions. The NCCN ORP has received more than $36 million in research grants from major pharmaceutical companies to support investigator-initiated trials. These trials explore new venues of clinical investigation that answer important scientific questions. Studies evaluate combinations and sequencing regimens of drugs, drug resistance, and mechanisms of action of specific agents, or explore extended uses for scientific agents.

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