The NCCN 2022 Annual Conference

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Despite the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic, NCCN’s experts from our Member Institutions, which represent leading academic cancer centers in the United States, remain committed to the development and timely updates of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) that help cancer care providers provide optimal management for patients. The NCCN 2022 Annual Conference, held March 31 through April 2, brought together more than a thousand oncology professionals from around the world to learn about the latest evidence-based treatment recommendations and evaluate new research. Taking place online via a user-friendly virtual platform, the conference included more than 30 educational sessions that focused on state-of-the-art practice algorithms for care across multiple cancer types; updates to the NCCN Guidelines; new and emerging therapies; controversies in treatment and areas where further studies are needed; and best practices in the delivery of oncology care. This special issue of JNCCN—Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network presents these Highlights, in print and online at (including selected online-only recaps), as a synopsis of the virtual proceedings.

The webinars synopsized here provide a deeper understanding of the strong evidence and continually advancing science that support recommendations found in the NCCN Guidelines, and which help achieve the best outcomes in cancer management. The conference included concurrent sessions on topics such as genetic risk assessment, the future of telemedicine, and preventive health in cancer survivors. Leading experts presented the latest treatment recommendations for more than a dozen different types of cancer including breast, colorectal, lung, pancreatic, and prostate.

This year, NCCN included 3 plenary sessions on the patient journey, dealing with access to care, equity of care, and survivorship. The moderated panel discussion on access (synopsis available online at examined how academic cancer centers are expanding treatment services to the community (including home-based care) while exploring the challenges posed by each different setting. The equity panel (synopsis also available at included a review of programs that are helping to close care gaps and highlighted how the policy landscape is evolving. The survivor care session (synopsis in print and online at focused on managing unmet psychosocial needs, including anxiety, depression, trauma, and distress.

NCCN’s core mission is to help people with cancer live better lives. This means recognizing and addressing the anxiety and distress that is prevalent in up to 80% of cancer survivors. It also means having frank discussions about implicit and explicit biases in care, and taking on social determinants of health. Of course, all of these conversations are happening in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exposed systemic problems and radically changed care delivery.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on cancer care are also the subject of numerous electronic posters. These are among the more than 200 new studies in clinical oncology, epidemiology, bioinformatics, quality improvement, best practices, and outcomes and health services, including equity and disparities, discussed in abstracts published in the print version of the Highlights and online at

During the conference, the online platform also included an interactive exhibition hall featuring more than 50 exhibits from industry, patient advocacy, and health information technology entities. The virtual event platform allows attendees to continue accessing all conference sessions and exhibits for 60 days after the live conference concluded. Now the sessions are available as recorded webcasts via the NCCN Continuing Education portal at

We welcome you to participate in the post-conference discussion on social media by using the hashtag #NCCN2022, or visit for updates. And stay tuned for more information on the NCCN 2023 Annual Conference, which will take place March 31 to April 2, 2023 in Orlando, Florida, and incorporate a combined hybrid in-person and virtual format. Look for more information at In the meantime, NCCN is planning to return to Washington, DC for the Oncology Policy Summit on June 17, 2022. A virtual attendance option will also be available. The focus will be how to build a modern workplace that meets the needs of cancer patients, survivors, and caretakers. Learn more at and visit for information on all upcoming NCCN events and webinars.


Robert W. Carlson, MD, joined NCCN as CEO in January 2013 following an esteemed history of leadership positions within the organization, including Representative to the NCCN Board of Directors, Chair of the Breast Cancer Guidelines Panel, and Member and Founding Chair of the Breast Cancer Risk Reduction Guidelines Panel. Prior to this appointment, he served as Professor of Medicine in the Division of Oncology and Stanford Medical Informatics at Stanford University Medical Center, as well as Medical Director of Inpatient Oncology and Hematology at Stanford Cancer Institute. Dr. Carlson is a graduate of Stanford University Medical School, and he completed his internship and junior residency in internal medicine at Barnes Hospital Group before returning to Stanford University to complete his senior residency. Dr. Carlson is board certified in Medical Oncology and Internal Medicine and is a member of several medical societies. He lectures extensively and has authored or coauthored more than 140 articles, abstracts, and book chapters. From 2001 through 2012, Dr. Carlson was selected by America’s Top Doctors; from 1994 through 2011, he was selected by Best Doctors in America; in 2008, he was presented with the National Physician of the Year Award for Clinical Excellence by Castle Connolly Medical, Ltd.; and in 2010, Dr. Carlson was given the Founding Collaborator Award by the Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI).


Wui-Jin Koh, MD, is the Senior Vice President/Chief Medical Officer at NCCN. In this role, he helps oversee the flagship NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) program. In addition, he is responsible for medical leadership and oversight for NCCN’s continuing medical education program, and represents the organization at clinical and scientific meetings. Before joining NCCN, he served as Professor of Radiation Oncology at University of Washington and Medical Director for Radiation Oncology at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Dr. Koh earned his medical degree at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and conducted post-graduate training at the University of Washington Medical Center. He is board-certified in radiation oncology. His research interests include combined chemoradiation strategies, cancer management guidelines development, and the role of imaging in radiotherapy and cancer care. He specializes in gynecologic tumors, lung cancer, ocular tumors, and sarcomas, as well as intraoperative radiotherapy, brachytherapy including radioactive implants, high-dose radiation and low-dose radiation implants. He also treats rectal, esophageal, stomach, pancreas, colon, and biliary tract cancers. Dr. Koh is well-published and involved in numerous professional societies, including the Society of Gynecologic Oncology, the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, ASCO, the Gynecologic Oncology Group, the Western Association of Gynecologic Oncology, and the International Gynecologic Cancer Society.

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