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NCCN Senior Director Evelyn Handel is Named a “40 Under 40 in Cancer: Emerging Leader” for Milestone Work Improving Safe Use of Chemotherapy

Evelyn Handel, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP, Senior Director of Drugs & Biologics Programs, NCCN, was named a 40 Under 40 in Cancer: Emerging Leader at a national reception in Chicago, Illinois, on June 3, 2023. This achievement comes as the NCCN Chemotherapy Order Templates (NCCN Templates) program celebrates its 15th anniversary and launches new resources for a type of pediatric lymphoma.

40 Under 40 in Cancer is an awards initiative that recognizes contributions being made across the field of cancer by rising stars and emerging leaders under the age of 40 years. The award is sponsored by The Association for Value-Based Cancer Care, The National Community Oncology Dispensing Association, Swim Across America, Amplity Health, Servier, Takeda, Jasper Health, BeiGene, and Cumberland Pharmaceuticals.

“Dr. Handel is an extremely diligent and collaborative pharmacist who [helps] set protocols, standards, templates, and guidance for oncology care providers,” said Eve Segal, PharmD, BCOP, Lead Clinical Pharmacist, Hematology/Oncology at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center/UW Medicine. “She is also passionate about patient education, and through her leadership within HOPA [the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association], has supported the creation of 70 IV education handouts and over 100 oral chemotherapy handouts that are used by hundreds of oncology practitioners every day. Evelyn’s work at NCCN has helped advance pharmacist involvement and provided pharmacist perspective on important national guidelines.”

New Resources for Pediatric Oncology

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the launch of the NCCN Templates and the publication of the first NCCN Templates for a childhood cancer. The NCCN Templates contain critical information on dosing, administration, side effects, and other monitoring and safety parameters and are used by clinicians to ensure that they are delivering optimal treatment as recommended by the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines). The newly launched resources for improving the safe use of systemic therapy when treating pediatric aggressive mature B-cell lymphomas were published on July 31.

There are now 2,531 published NCCN Templates covering 108 unique cancer types across 58 different NCCN Guidelines, with 328 new templates added in the past year alone. They are licensed for use in a growing number of electronic health record systems, utilization management tools, and clinical decision support tools. In addition to users who access the templates through a HIT licensor, in 2022 more than 10,000 unique subscribers downloaded more than 1.7 million NCCN Templates directly from NCCN.org/templates.

Dr. Handel joined NCCN in 2015 and serves as Senior Director of the Drugs & Biologics Programs, where she is involved with management of the NCCN Templates as well as providing oversight and management for the NCCN Drugs and Biologics Compendium (NCCN Compendium).

“Evelyn exemplifies the core values we embrace at NCCN, including passion and innovation to advance high-quality cancer care,” said Robert W. Carlson, MD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN. “She leads a team dedicated to providing the best information for the safe and effective use of drugs and biologics in cancer care. The work they do truly makes a difference for people with cancer. I am grateful for Evelyn’s ongoing contributions to NCCN and the field of oncology, and congratulate her on this achievement.”

“It was an honor to see the work that my colleagues and I do to improve the safe use of chemotherapy be recognized in this way,” said Dr. Handel. “I am grateful to HOPA for nominating me, and grateful to my team for all of their efforts over the years, most recently in the launch of a new pediatric cancer resource. I feel privileged to be part of this work advancing NCCN’s mission to help all people with cancer to live better lives.”

Dr. Handel’s team at NCCN includes 12 oncology nurses and pharmacists, including 2 specializing in pediatric care. She also works with pharmacy directors across NCCN’s Member Institutions as part of the NCCN Pharmacy Directors Forum. In addition to her responsibilities at NCCN, Dr. Handel also serves as the Chair of the HOPA Patient Education Committee and the President of the International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners.

New and Updated Resources Published to Help Guide Oncology Care in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

NCCN has announced that a library of resources for improving cancer care in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has been updated and expanded in collaboration with regional experts. The United States–based nonprofit has worked with the King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, since 2015 to standardize cancer treatment based on the latest evidence and expert consensus as part of the MENA-NCCN Regional Coordinating Center. Their efforts have led to the publication of 12 new and updated clinical guidelines covering several cancer presentations. The new and updated international adaptations of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) MENA Editions can be viewed at NCCN.org/global.

The NCCN Guidelines MENA Editions now include up-to-date adaptations for:

  • • Adult Cancer Pain

  • • Breast Cancer

  • • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia/Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma

  • • Colon Cancer

  • • Genetic/Familial High-Risk Assessment: Breast, Ovarian, and Pancreatic (new)

  • • Hairy Cell Leukemia

  • • Hepatobiliary Cancers

  • • Hodgkin Lymphoma

  • • Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

  • • Ovarian Cancer/Fallopian Tube Cancer/Primary Peritoneal Cancer (new)

  • • Prostate Cancer

  • • T-Cell Lymphomas

The guidelines provide color-coded information for health care providers on how to care for people with cancer. Text in black represents current global recommendations, while italicized blue text indicates appropriate and feasible regional modifications—as determined by in-country experts. Approaches that are not currently feasible are marked with grey strikethrough text.

“Cancer care for people in the Middle East and North Africa should follow internationally recognized gold standards for clinical direction and policy,” explained Kanan Mamdouh Alshammari, MD, Department of Oncology, King Abdulaziz Medical City - Central Region, Ministry of National Guard, Saudi Arabia, Director of the MENA-NCCN Regional Coordinating Center. “Numerous studies have shown how standardizing care results in better outcomes and a more efficient use of resources. These adapted guidelines will enable our local care providers to have access to expert-vetted information on the latest research, but with their specific circumstances in mind.”

“We are always grateful for the opportunity for knowledge sharing with cancer care experts around the world—allowing us to provide accessible, tailored information to improve cancer outcomes across different regions,” said Robert W. Carlson, MD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN. “Our colleagues with the MENA-NCCN Regional Coordinating Center collaborated with us to address the growing need for genetic testing guidance in the Middle East and North Africa as part of our ongoing efforts to make sure everyone, everywhere, has access to the best evidence-based cancer care available.”

The NCCN Global Program offers numerous free International Adaptations, including European Editions of NCCN Guidelines for Spain and Poland. The NCCN Framework for Resource Stratification (NCCN Framework) and NCCN Harmonized Guidelines provide pragmatic approaches for defining appropriate treatment across different resource levels, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. NCCN resources have been translated into nearly 70 different languages. Learn more at NCCN.org/global.

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