NCCN News

More Than 600 NCCN Chemotherapy Order Templates Now Available from NCCN to Enhance Patient Safety

The NCCN has launched a complete library of NCCN Chemotherapy Order Templates (NCCN Templates) for the top 13 most frequently occurring tumor types. The NCCN Templates now include more than 600 peer-reviewed and evidence-based chemotherapy regimens for clinicians. New to the library are NCCN Templates for esophageal, gastric, ovarian, pancreatic, and rectal cancers, multiple myeloma, and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. These highly anticipated additions to the NCCN Templates are designed to enhance patient safety by helping clinicians standardize patient care, reduce medication errors, and anticipate and manage adverse events.

“The NCCN is pleased to make available this set of more than 600 NCCN Chemotherapy Order Templates for the most frequently occurring tumor types. Additional templates are available online at NCCN.org,” said William T. McGivney, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN. “NCCN believes that these comprehensive chemotherapy templates will serve to improve the safety of administration and the benefit derived by patients. The set of NCCN Chemotherapy Order Templates represents yet another in a continuum of interrelated NCCN scientific, evaluative, information products that facilitate improved decision-making on behalf of patients whom we serve.”

The NCCN Templates include valuable guidance for clinicians regarding indications, doses, schedules and routes of administration, monitoring parameters, and safety instructions for chemotherapy. Management of immunotherapies and the corresponding supportive agents and instructions for self-administered chemotherapeutic agents are also provided. All information in the NCCN Templates is derived from the recommendations of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines), recognized as the standard for clinical policy in the oncology community, and the NCCN Drugs & Biologics Compendium (NCCN Compendium), resources already widely recognized as the standards of clinical practice and policy. Currently, the NCCN Compendium is recognized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and UnitedHealthcare, along with other insurers, as an authoritative reference for oncology coverage policy.

The NCCN Templates are a continuously updated subscription product from NCCN and can be purchased via NCCN.org. NCCN will continue developing the library of chemotherapy order templates to improve the safe and effective use of drugs and biologics in cancer care.

NCCN Advances Oncology Imaging Research through the NCCN Specialized Imaging Research Consortium

Imaging plays an important role in clinical cancer care, and the increasing availability and use of advanced imaging methods have created a need for expertise in such techniques in order to guide their appropriate use in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with cancer. Thus, NCCN recently established the NCCN Specialized Imaging Research Consortium (SIRC), a multidisciplinary network of highly specialized investigators whose mission is to advance the treatment of patients with cancer through the clinical application of specialized imaging technologies.

The SIRC, a new initiative of the NCCN Oncology Research Program (ORP), aims to foster and support oncology research and advance technology development in order to improve patient outcomes. Bringing together imaging scientists, oncologists, and experts from NCCN Member Institutions, the SIRC will perform high-quality clinical trials of emerging therapeutics integrated with evidence-based research in order to guide the use of advanced imaging in clinical cancer care. The SIRC's mission aims to:

  • Establish and standardize new models for predicting and monitoring response to therapy
  • Develop a better understanding of the mechanisms of tumor resistance
  • Use imaging and analytic systems to advance cancer drug development
  • Share or distribute the information with the radiology community
  • Stimulate collaborative efforts to evaluate technically challenging treatment approaches
  • Provide expertise to help evaluate the role of imaging in clinical cancer care and guide its use

The SIRC is advised by an interdisciplinary Consortium Advisory Group (CAG), which has clearly defined oversight and quality control functions. The CAG works with the NCCN ORP to shape the goals, strategy, and implementation of the SIRC.

“The future promise of “Personalized Therapy” will require the support of a new imaging paradigm—one that will allow us to evaluate qualitatively and quantitatively the cancer process at the cellular, molecular, and genetic level,” commented the Chair of CAG, Donald Podoloff, MD, Division Head, Diagnostic Imaging, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. “To this end, NCCN has formed the SIRC to foster and support oncology research and extend technology development in specialized imaging that will lead to improved patient outcomes.”

The NCCN ORP draws on the expertise of investigators at NCCN Member Institutions to facilitate all phases of clinical research. This research is made possible by collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotech companies in order to advance therapeutic options for patients with cancer. To date, this successful research model has provided 87 investigators with more than $30 million in funding and has produced numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals.

New Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Guidelines for Patients Available from NCCN

NCCN, with the support of the NCCN Foundation, recently announced the latest addition to the library of NCCN Guidelines for Patients, the NCCN Patient Guidelines for Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML). This resource is a patient-friendly, easy-to-understand translation of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for CML, which physicians use when determining appropriate cancer treatment. The NCCN Patient Guidelines aim to help patients with cancer and their loved ones discuss the best treatment options for them with their physicians.

More than 4500 new cases of CML are diagnosed in the United States each year, with most cases occurring in adults. CML is 1 of 4 major types of leukemia and accounts for 15% of adult leukemias. People diagnosed with CML often have more than one treatment option, including, but not limited to, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, chemotherapy, or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

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 work-up throughout the course of the disease. The NCCN Patient Guidelines translate these professional guidelines in a clear, step-by-step manner that patients can use as the basis for making decisions and discussing treatment options with their physicians.

The NCCN Patient Guidelines are available free of charge at NCCN.com, which, in addition, features informative articles for patients and caregivers. NCCN also offers 7 other NCCN Patient Guidelines including Breast, Non–Small Cell Lung, Ovarian, and Prostate Cancers, and Melanoma, Multiple Myeloma, and Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma. By the end of 2011, NCCN aims to have 9 new and updated NCCN Patient Guidelines added to the library.

Andrew von Eschenbach Named to NCCN Foundation Board

The NCCN Foundation, which through private philanthropy and grants, advances the mission of the NCCN to improve the quality and effectiveness of care for patients with cancer, welcomes Andrew von Eschenbach, MD, President of Samaritan Health Initiatives, former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Director of the National Cancer Institute, former Director of the Prostate Cancer Research Program and Director of the Genitourinary Cancer Center at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, as the newest member to the Board of the NCCN Foundation.

“I am very pleased that Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach has agreed to join the Board of the NCCN Foundation,” commented Sam Donaldson, chair of the NCCN Foundation Board of Directors and ABC News veteran. “His appointment brings a person of enormous stature and strategic leadership to help guide the work of the Foundation. In addition to his international reputation as a surgeon, Dr. von Eschenbach is the past Director of the National Cancer Institute and former Commissioner of the FDA. Andy is also a cancer survivor. Consequently, helping cancer patients and reaching out to caregivers is personal for him. His experience and wisdom bridges the worlds of clinical research and patient care—which is in perfect alignment with the mission of the NCCN Foundation.”

Dr. von Eschenbach currently serves as President of Samaritan Health Initiatives, a Consultant at the Center for Health Transformation, and Adjunct Professor at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. From 2005 through 2009, he served as Director of the National Cancer Institute, where he set an ambitious goal of eliminating the suffering and death due to cancer by rapid acceleration and integration of the discovery-development-delivery continuum by the year 2015. Dr. von Eschenbach entered government service after an outstanding career over 3 decades as a physician, surgeon, oncologist, and executive, including numerous leadership roles from Chairman of the Department of Urologic Oncology to Executive Vice President and Chief Academic at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Dr. von Eschenbach is an internationally renowned cancer specialist and author of more than 300 scientific articles and studies. He was also named one of Time magazine's “100 most influential people to shape the world,” in both 2007 and 2008. He has been married to his wife, Madelyn, for more than 40 years, and they are proud parents of 4 children and grandparents of 7.

The NCCN Foundation was initiated in 2010, with a key goal in the first year of raising funds for the development and distribution of the NCCN Guidelines for Patients. Seven of these guidelines for patients are now available with another 9 planned for the coming year. The NCCN Guidelines for Patients use the same treatment algorithms that are the hallmark of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines), but are translated into a more user-friendly format utilizing language for non-professional audiences.

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