Newswise — PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA [November 20, 2018] — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) today announced that Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania (ACC) will become the organization’s 28th Member Institution. This alliance of top academic cancer centers from across the United States is devoted to improving and facilitating quality, effective, efficient, and accessible cancer care so patients can live better lives.

The ACC’s membership into NCCN will include the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Pennsylvania Hospital, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Clinicians and scientists from the ACC will join more than 1,300 experts from current NCCN Member Institutions to work together across 53 panels to review the latest innovations and approvals in cancer care, in order to update the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®). Those guidelines were downloaded more than 8 million times in 2017 alone and help to establish high-quality standards for care worldwide. There are currently 73 different NCCN Guidelines®, which apply to 97% of cancers affecting patients in the United States, plus recommendations for related conditions like nausea, fatigue, distress, or immunotherapy-related toxicities.

“The Abramson Cancer Center is a perfect fit and wonderful addition to the group of leading cancer centers that comprise NCCN,” said Robert W. Carlson, MD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN. “Penn is one of the pioneers for immunotherapy and is also at the forefront for innovative treatment approaches involving stem cell transplantation, genetics, palliative care, pediatric cancer care, and other areas. Penn Medicine also shares NCCN’s commitment to improving care for underserved populations in the United States and abroad. We look forward to working together to make sure people with cancer everywhere receive the very best evidence-based care possible.”

NCCN was started by 13 founding Member Institutions in 1995, including Philadelphia-based Fox Chase Cancer Center, which also housed the nonprofit’s original headquarters. Since then, the alliance has expanded significantly, both in membership and resources, which also include the Library of NCCN Compendia, NCCN Guidelines for Patients®, NCCN Harmonized Guidelines™ for low- and middle-income countries, and numerous international Adaptations and Translations. Earlier this year, NCCN moved to new headquarters in Plymouth Meeting, PA, to accommodate its continuing growth.

“We are pleased and excited to welcome the Abramson Cancer Center as a member of NCCN,” said Gary J. Weyhmuller, MBA, SPHR, Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, NCCN. “Our Member Institutions represent some of the best care available across the country. The addition of the Abramson Cancer Center serves to further strengthen our network.”

“The Abramson Cancer Center is leading the charge of the immunorevolution, with research that has led to four new Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved cancer drugs this year alone,” said Robert Vonderheide, MD, DPhil, Director of the ACC. “We’re energized to share our expertise with NCCN, as well as the chance to collaborate with other Member Institutions to ensure patients across the country are receiving the best possible care.”

The ACC's expertise is especially highlighted by its role as global pioneers in new approaches to cancer treatment, particularly in personalized cellular therapies and proton beam radiation. Penn developed the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T) therapy, which has since been approved for a second indication and in multiple countries. The approach has successfully eradicated blood cancer in hundreds of patients around the world. Studies show it leads to overall remission rates of 80 percent among acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients whose cancer could not be contained by the standard chemotherapies doctors have relied on for decades.

“Our experience bringing cancer treatment to patients all over the world has given us a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities involved, and our experts are looking forward to collaborating on these issues with fellow experts from other NCCN Member Institutions,” said Lawrence Shulman, MD, Deputy Director for Clinical Services at the ACC. Shulman also serves as chair of the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer.

NCCN will soon begin the process of incorporating experts from the ACC onto current and future NCCN Guidelines Panels. The NCCN Guidelines are the most frequently-updated medical guidelines in any discipline and are available free-of-charge for non-commercial use at or via the Virtual Library of NCCN Guidelines® app.

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About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 28 leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education, is dedicated to improving the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of cancer care so that patients can live better lives. Through the leadership and expertise of clinical professionals at NCCN Member Institutions, NCCN develops resources that present valuable information to the numerous stakeholders in the health care delivery system. As the arbiter of high-quality cancer care, NCCN promotes the importance of continuous quality improvement and recognizes the significance of creating clinical practice guidelines appropriate for use by patients, clinicians, and other health care decision-makers.

The NCCN Member Institutions are: Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, Omaha, NE; Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland, OH; City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA; Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center | Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, MA; Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, NC; Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA; Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle, WA; The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD; Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Chicago, IL; Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ, Jacksonville, FL, and Rochester, MN; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY; Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL; The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, Columbus, OH; Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, NY; Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN; Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford, CA; University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center, Birmingham, AL; UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, La Jolla, CA; UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA; University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, CO; University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, MI; The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Madison, WI; Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN; and Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital, New Haven, CT.

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