The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) now has consumer versions of its clinical practice guidelines.
The new NCCN Guidelines for Patients series, announced at the NCCN Patient Advocacy Summit in Washington DC, last month, is a consumer-friendly adaptation of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology resource for clinicians.
“The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology are recognized by clinicians around the world as the standard for oncology care,” NCCN CEO William T. McGivney, PhD, said in a news release. “We are acutely aware of how important it is to provide the same timely, high-quality information to patients who need to understand their cancer treatment options and are thrilled to offer this unique and much needed resource.”
The first two guidelines released cover breast and lung cancers. Susan G. Komen for the Cure provided the NCCN Foundation $160,000 in grant support to develop and distribute the breast cancer version.
“Women who are living with breast cancer today not only have to contend with the reality of their diagnosis, but also have to live in an increasingly complex and changing world. We understand now that breast cancer is not a single disease. You have to know the subtype of the breast cancer, the stage of your disease, and be able to evaluate the options available for you as an individual,” said Diana Rowden, Komen's Survivorship and Outcomes Vice President.
“While there are a number of good resources available to these women, only the NCCN Guidelines for Patients provide the level of highly specific, current information that patients want and need. We are very proud to take a leadership role in supporting these guidelines and making them available to breast cancer patients.”
The lung cancer version is dedicated to the honor and memory of Dana Reeve, the wife of the late actor Christopher Reeve. Dana Reeve died of lung cancer in 2006, seven months after her diagnosis. Her sister, Deborah Morosini, MD, a member of the NCCN Foundation Board, is an active spokesperson for increased awareness of lung cancer.
“When my sister, Dana, was diagnosed with lung cancer, I assumed, as a physician, that we would be able to find the information we needed to sort through all the various treatment options,” Dr. Morosini said. “It turned out to be much more difficult than I thought.
“These guidelines will fill a huge gap for patients and the people who are supporting them and will be an incredibly valuable tool in making them more knowledgeable partners in their own treatment. Losing my sister was a devastating experience for our whole family, but it is very meaningful to all of us to have these guidelines named in her honor and memory.”
The organization notes that additional guidelines for patients are expected to be released within the next several months, on melanoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, colon cancer, and prostate cancer, and that the plan is to eventually have patient versions for all major adult cancer sites.
PDF versions of the guidelines are available at NCCN.com, which also features enhanced content for patients and caregivers.