New Information From NCCN on Most Common Type of Cancer; Diagnosed in Millions Every Year
NCCN has published new NCCN Guidelines for Patients Basal Cell Skin Cancer (also known as basal cell carcinoma, or BCC), the most common form of skin cancer. This highly curable type of cancer is diagnosed in more than 2 million people in the United States every year—which is more than all other cancers combined.1 BCC primarily impacts lighter-skinned, sun-exposed people aged >60 years, due to the buildup of sun exposure over the years. However, skin cancer has recently become more common in younger people, likely as a result of them spending more time in the sun. In very rare instances untreated BCC can progress significantly and be life-threatening. This new resource provides trustworthy information based on the latest evidence, available free online at NCCN.org/patientguidelines thanks to funding from the NCCN Foundation.
“I am grateful to see these new and comprehensive guidelines for BCC,” said Kathy Barnard, Founder of the Save Your Skin Foundation. “Last year, when I was diagnosed with advanced BCC, I did not know where to turn. I got very little information from my doctor and did not understand the procedures they prescribed and the painful surgeries I received. Thankfully, patients going forward will be able to rely on the information in this book to help them understand and navigate their diagnosis and treatment options.”
The treatment recommendations explained in the NCCN Guidelines for Patients are based on the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines), which are updated frequently by multidisciplinary teams of experts from across NCCN Member Institutions. The patient versions present unbiased expert guidance in an easy-to-read format—with clear language, charts, images, and a glossary of medical terms.
“Most patients with BCC can be cured with a simple surgical excision, and some tumors can even be treated with topical creams. However, a very small subset of cases can spread. These patient guidelines help people know the difference,” explained Chrysalyne D. Schmults, MD, MSCE, Associate Professor of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Vice Chair of Surgical Oncology, Brigham and Women's Department of Dermatology, and Chair of the NCCN Guidelines Panel for Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer. “We recommend people try to avoid sunburns and suntans by limiting their sun exposure and using sunscreen. They should talk to their doctor if they notice something on their skin that looks like a pimple but bleeds or doesn’t heal within 6 weeks.”
Panel Vice Chair, Rachel Blitzblau, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Director of Radiation Oncology for Breast Cancer, Duke University Medical Center, agreed: “The most important thing to look for is anything new or changing on your skin. Examples include a new colored patch or bump, shiny bumps or nodules, open areas that won’t heal, an area with a raised rolled edge (sometimes with crusting in the center), or a white waxy scar-like area. I would encourage everyone to bring anything new or changing on their skin to the attention of their primary doctor—or their dermatologist if they have one—for further evaluation.”
The growing library of NCCN Guidelines for Patients includes >55 books for patients and caregivers covering most major types of cancer, along with topics like managing cancer-related distress, nausea and vomiting, and survivorship (both healthy living and cancer-related late and long-term effects), plus special considerations for adolescents and young adults across all cancer types. Free digital versions are available at NCCN.org/patientguidelines and via the NCCN Patient Guides for Cancer App. Printed versions are available for a nominal fee at Amazon.com.
Learn more and help support these and other resources for people with cancer and their caregivers at NCCN.org/patients.
Outcomes4Me and NCCN Expand Global Collaboration to Include Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer
Outcomes4Me Inc., developer of a leading free mobile app and platform to empower patients with cancer with the information and tools to navigate their care, and NCCN announced the addition of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Genetic/Familial High-Risk Assessment: Breast, Ovarian and Pancreatic into the Outcomes4Me mobile application. NCCN and Outcomes4Me first joined forces in 2019 to integrate the NCCN Guidelines for Breast Cancer into the Outcomes4Me direct-to-patient mobile app. This additional integration leverages Outcomes4Me’s platform to enable millions of people to be able to identify whether they should be tested for inherited cancers.
Despite the long-standing availability of testing for inherited cancer, only a small portion of the at-risk population has taken advantage of it. In fact, recent data suggest that <20% of patients with breast or ovarian cancer who meet national criteria for inherited cancer risk testing receive it.
“We hope that by integrating these NCCN Guidelines into the Outcomes4Me app, thus making them more accessible to every patient wherever they are, we will not only better democratize life-saving information but also help address some of the disparities we see in cancer care,” said Osama E. Rahma, MD, Outcomes4Me’s co-founder and medical consultant. “These disparities are extremely unfortunate, as we know that cancer risks are much higher among individuals with inherited cancer predisposing gene mutations.”
“We’ve been very impressed with the work Outcomes4Me has done to integrate our physician-facing breast cancer guidelines to make them more accessible for breast cancer patients using their app. This expanded collaboration will improve accessibility of the NCCN Guidelines for Genetic/Familial High-Risk Assessment as well,” said Robert W. Carlson, MD, CEO of NCCN. “Outcomes4Me is dedicated to empowering patients. By expanding the availability of this information, it will increase awareness in genetic testing, share tools for a more proactive approach to health, and provide greater access to genetic counseling and testing, ultimately helping to save lives.”
Outcomes4Me closes the information gap between cancer experts (researchers, physicians, clinical trial developers) and patients by curating and translating the most up-to-date findings and recommendations in a digestible, easy-to-use format. Outcomes4Me empowers patients to take control of their care by providing actionable, evidence-based information about their treatment options and clinical trials. The best-in-class app also helps patients track and manage their medications and symptoms and access personalized resources.
NCCN Works With Polish Health Leaders to Improve Cancer Standardization, Coordination, and Outcomes
NCCN announced the publication of new NCCN Guidelines for Cervical Cancer: Poland Edition. This is the organization’s most-recent collaboration to advance global cancer care through recommendations based on the latest evidence and expert consensus. NCCN also works on regional guidelines adaptations, translations, and harmonizations with local providers across Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the Caribbean, and other countries in Asia, Europe, and South America.
“It’s easier to predict cancer care needs when we work together to standardize care on an international scale—carefully adjusted for unique regional variations—improving quality while controlling costs,” said Robert W. Carlson, MD, CEO, NCCN. “Everyone worldwide should benefit from our rapidly expanding knowledge on how to treat cancer most effectively. This goes both ways; when we work with experts around the globe, we learn valuable lessons for improving cancer care in the United States.”
The NCCN Guidelines for Cervical Cancer: Poland Edition are a pilot project through a collaboration organized by Maria Sklodowska-Curie National Research Institute (MSCNRIO), Alliance for Innovation (AFI), and NCCN. The project is led by Polish oncologists and includes the Health Technology Assessment Agency, National Health Fund, Ministry of Health representatives, and Polish patient advocacy groups.
There are plans to expand the NCCN Guidelines: Poland Editions to eventually cover the majority of incident cancer cases in Poland. The next NCCN Guidelines to be adapted are central nervous system cancers, uterine neoplasms, and ovarian cancer.
NCCN Guidelines are the recognized standard for clinical direction and policy in cancer management and the most thorough and frequently-updated clinical practice guidelines available in any area of medicine. They are widely used and well-regarded by cancer care providers around the world as noted in recent independent, peer-reviewed studies out of Nigeria, Italy, and China.
View International Adaptations and Translations of NCCN Guidelines at NCCN.org/global and join the conversation with #NCCNGlobal.
NCCN Announces Funding for Prostate Cancer Research Projects, in Collaboration With Pfizer and Astellas
The NCCN Oncology Research Program (ORP) has announced projects awarded to develop innovative and impactful studies that address unmet needs, as well as support the design and performance of enzalutamide research, in the treatment of prostate cancer. Grant funding will be provided by Pfizer Global Medical Grants (Pfizer) and Astellas Pharma Global Development (Astellas).
“This research will help us advance scientific knowledge on the mechanisms of resistance, underlying biology, and clinical effectiveness of enzalutamide-based therapy in prostate cancer” said Crystal S. Denlinger, MD, Senior Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer, NCCN. “Congratulations to all of the grantees. We look forward to findings that may guide the development of enzalutamide and its combination with other therapies.”
The selected projects are:
Joshi Alumkal, MD, University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center:
∘Clarifying Tumor and Microenvironmental Determinants of Enzalutamide Resistance
Ajjai Alva, MBBS, University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center:
∘Novel Genomic Prognostic Model in Enzalutamide-Treated Prostate Cancer:
Adam Sowalsky, PhD, National Cancer Institute – Bethesda:
∘A Correlative Study of High-Risk Localized Prostate Cancers Treated With Neoadjuvant ADT + Enzalutamide Prior to Surgery to Assess the Molecular Basis for Sensitization With HER2 or HER3 Inhibition
Russell Z. Szmulewitz, MD, The University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center:
∘Phase IIa Neoadjuvant Study of Enzalutamide and Androgen Deprivation With the Selective Glucocorticoid Receptor Antagonist Relacorilant for High-Risk Localized Castration-Sensitive Prostate Cancer.
Proposals were peer reviewed by a Scientific Review Committee, which consisted of leading expert oncologists from NCCN Member Institutions. The selected priority areas focused on the development of novel treatment approaches because of their ability to impact the unmet needs for patients with potentially lethal prostate cancer. The projects are set to be completed within 3 years. Collectively, the total amount of grants awarded for this study are approximately $2 million.
The NCCN ORP fosters innovation and knowledge discovery that improve the lives of people with cancer and supports preclinical, translational, clinical research and quality improvement projects in oncology at NCCN Member Institutions. In an effort to improve collaboration in cancer research, the NCCN ORP also maintains a shared resources website and an informed consent database.