Newswise — PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA [January 15, 2019] — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) today announced that the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) were downloaded more than 10 million times in 2018; marking a 26% increase over 2017. NCCN Guidelines® provide up-to-date recommendations for health care providers on how best to treat and manage the cancers responsible for at least 97% of all cancer diagnoses. The recommendations are determined by multidisciplinary panels of cancer type-specific experts from the 28 leading academic cancer centers that comprise NCCN. NCCN Guidelines are available for anyone to download for free at NCCN.org or by mobile app.
“Having your cancer treated according to NCCN Guidelines is like getting a second opinion from approximately 30 of the world’s top experts on your particular cancer type,” said Timothy J. Eberlein, MD, Chair, NCCN Board of Directors, Spencer T. and Anne W. Olin Distinguished Professor, Director of The Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center, Bixby Professor and Chair of Surgery of the Department of Surgery, Washington University. “This remarkable, and growing number of downloads means more patients everywhere are getting the optimal treatment for their cancer, regardless of where they’re treated. The use of the guidelines also serves the important function of providing critical education for cancer health care providers.”
Keeping Pace with Progress
The significant year-to-year growth for downloads reflects the rapid pace at which NCCN Guidelines are continually updated. For example, the NCCN Guidelines for Breast Cancer and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer were downloaded more than 600,000 and 400,000 times in 2018, respectively. During that same time period, the breast cancer guidelines underwent four separate updates while the lung cancer guidelines were updated six different times.
“The NCCN Guidelines are an essential tool in cancer care around the globe, in large part because of how frequently they are updated,” explained Robert W. Carlson, MD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN. “Whenever there’s important new research data or treatment approvals, the relevant NCCN panel(s) of experts will review the evidence and make their recommendations. That way people with cancer, no matter where in the world they live, can know their doctor has free access to the most current evidence- and expert consensus-based approach. NCCN Guidelines also help streamline the insurance coverage process to make sure people have appropriate and ready access to life-saving care.”
In addition to updating existing guidelines, NCCN frequently launches new guidelines, focusing on previously-unmet needs for people with cancer. In 2018, NCCN increased the total number of resources available for free download by 13%, and debuted new guidelines on the following subjects:
- Management of Immunotherapy-Related Toxicities
- Cancer in People Living with HIV
- Uveal Melanoma
- Gestational Trophoblastic Neoplasia (GTN)
- Systemic Mastocytosis
Also in 2018, NCCN continued to expand efforts to define and advance high-quality, high-value, patient-centered cancer care globally. That includes adapting guidelines to make them more applicable in low- and middle-income countries. There are now a total of 19 NCCN Harmonized GuidelinesTM for Sub-Saharan Africa, plus seven NCCN Harmonized GuidelinesTM for the Caribbean. The topics they cover include cancer types like breast, cervical, colon, lung and prostate, plus issues like how to manage pain, nausea, and palliative care. These guidelines—which are created in collaboration with local oncologists and government officials—include additional content on how to achieve the best results possible despite limited resources, and provide a pathway for future development of cancer care systems.
“Nearly half of the more-than-one-million verified users on our website come from outside the United States,” said Dr. Carlson. “We provide everyone with access by offering our easy-to-understand treatment algorithms free-of-charge both online and by app, plus translations into nearly a dozen different languages. We also publish the NCCN Guidelines for Patients®, which put the medical recommendations into non-medical terms so people with cancer and their caregivers can better understand what their doctors know and share in important decision-making.”
Information for Patients and Caregivers
The patient information site which houses the free NCCN Guidelines for Patients also saw a dramatic increase in web traffic in 2018, with more than 10 million page views. The past year included updates to most patient guidelines, plus new booklets for:
- Acute Myeloid Leukemia
- Liver, Gallbladder, and Bile Duct (Hepatobiliary) Cancers
- Uterine (Endometrial) Cancer
- Neuroendocrine Tumors
- Oral Cancers
In the year ahead, NCCN plans to continue on this trajectory for improving and facilitating quality, effective, efficient, and accessible cancer care so patients can live better lives. Up next in 2019: new NCCN Guidelines for Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Pediatric Burkitt’s Lymphoma, Small Bowel Adenocarcinoma, and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation.
For more on the biggest updates to the care landscape from the past year, plus a preview of what’s to come, join NCCN on March 21-23 for the NCCN 2019 Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.
Any clinician seeking to apply or consult the NCCN Guidelines is expected to use independent medical judgment in the context of individual clinical circumstances to determine any patient’s care or treatment. NCCN believes that the best management of any cancer patient is in a clinical trial.
About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) is a not-for-profit alliance of 28 leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education. NCCN is dedicated to improving and facilitating quality, effective, efficient, and accessible cancer care so 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. By defining and advancing 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 around the world.
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.