National Comprehensive Cancer Network Guidelines
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) is an alliance of 21 of the world’s leading cancer centers (see list below) dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients with cancer. NCCN institutions work together to provide physicians and patients with up-to-date management guidelines that would lead to better care and improved quality of life for cancer patients. The development of the NCCN practice guidelines are based on available scientific evidence integrated with the experience and judgment of the clinical experts in the alliance. These cancer guidelines are utilized by clinicians worldwide and serve as an important standard-of-care resource. The NCCN institutions experts have pioneered and lead the concept of multidisciplinary team approach to patient care and believe that the best cancer management is the result of integration of programs in clinical care, research, and education.
For the first time in NCCN history, a practice guideline in mycosis fungoides/Sezary syndrome (MF/SS) and primary cutaneous B-cell lymphoma (CBCL) have been developed and is available on the NCCN website. Again, these guidelines embody the practice patterns in the 21 expert institutions in the NCCN alliance and integrates available scientific evidence in the management of patients with MF/SS and CBCL. The current guideline has been updated this year and includes the revised staging system and updated recommendation for diagnosis and staging evaluations. The treatment recommendations are stratified by clinical stage and other key prognostic factors. In a given clinical stage, available treatments are presented in an algorithmic fashion as primary treatment options and choices for refractory or progressive disease. This MF/SS practice guideline will serve as an important standard-of-care resource not only for clinicians and patients, but also for medicare and other health insurance providers. Medicare and insurance carriers refer to the NCCN practice guidelines for approval and reimbursement of cancer treatments. Thus, the clinicians who follow the NCCN guidelines will increase the chance of receiving authorization and reimbursement for treatments in the care of our patients with MF/SS and CBCL. These guidelines will be updated as new treatments and scientific evidence are available that justify incorporating the information in clinical practice.
The next skin topic that will be addressed by the NCCN NHL panel is to develop a clinical practice guideline for the CD30+ lymphoproliferative disorders. Please visit the official NCCN website for more information about NCCN and its resources and activities. For MF/SS practice guidelines, please go to the “NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines”, then click on “Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas”.
Youn H. Kim, MD
Member of the NCCN NHL Panel
Joanne and Peter Haas Jr. Professor for Cutaneous Lymphoma Research
Director of the Multidisciplinary Cutaneous Lymphoma Program
Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford, California