The NCCN 2020 Annual Conference—originally scheduled for March 19 through 22—was one of the first major oncology meetings to be impacted by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Ordinarily, NCCN would have welcomed some 1,500 participants, including oncologists, fellows, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals, to Orlando, Florida, for an opportunity to learn from multidisciplinary experts and share perspectives with others.
Although gathering in person was not possible this year, NCCN recognizes the importance of continuing optimal care and advancing new knowledge in oncology despite the COVID-19 pandemic. To facilitate this, NCCN is delivering the emerging findings and trends in cancer treatment via the NCCN 2020 Virtual Annual Conference (available at NCCN.org/conference). This special issue of JNCCN presents these Highlights as a synopsis of the virtual proceedings.
Numerous innovations in cancer care have emerged over the past year, as reflected in continuous updates made to the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines). The webinars synopsized here provide essential new information on how to achieve the best outcomes for patients, and they also provide a deeper understanding of the strong evidence that supports recommendations found in the NCCN Guidelines. The breadth of topics presented reflect the impact NCCN and the NCCN Guidelines have on the management of people with cancer and support of their caregivers.
Within the Virtual Conference, faculty from across the now 30 leading academic cancer centers that comprise NCCN presented the latest best practices in the treatment of patients with cancer and explained NCCN Guidelines updates for various malignancies. Topics in these Highlights include new and emerging therapies, keys to optimization and implementation of treatment, and best practices in delivery of care across the cancer continuum. Some sessions tackle issues where there are differing perspectives, including a panel on controversies in the management of hereditary cancers and a debate on optimal first-line therapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Other sessions highlight updated evidence-based expert consensus for many cancer types (including breast, colon, lung, pancreatic, and many more).
This Highlights issue also includes a selection of the abstracts from the NCCN General Poster Session, with studies focused on clinical oncology, preclinical oncology, epidemiology/risks, correlative/genetics, best practices in implementation and use of clinical practice guidelines, quality improvement, outcomes and health services research, and bioinformatics/information technology sciences. All accepted abstracts are available at JNCCN.org, and this year online access to the posters is available at NCCN.org.