The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) are comprised of recommendations for the prevention, diagnosis, and management of malignancies across the continuum of care. The NCCN Guidelines® currently apply to more than 97% of cancers affecting patients in the United States. The NCCN Guidelines incorporate real-time updates in keeping with the rapid advancements in the field of cancer research and management. Specific NCCN Guidelines have also been developed for cancer screening and prevention, supportive care issues, and specific populations. The NCCN Guidelines are intended to assist all individuals who impact decision-making in cancer care including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, payers, patients and their families, and many others. The development of the NCCN Guidelines is an ongoing and iterative process based on a critical review of the best available evidence and derivation of recommendations by a multidisciplinary panel of experts in the field of cancer.
Updates to the NCCN Guidelines
The NCCN Guidelines are reviewed and updated on a continual basis to ensure that the recommendations take into account the most current evidence. All active NCCN Guidelines are reviewed and updated at least annually. The annual review process is driven largely by the annual Institutional Review performed for each of the NCCN Guidelines (Figure). However, interim Panel meetings are conducted throughout the year, as needed, based upon new evidence from studies evaluating existing agents or regulatory approvals of new drugs or biologics that may change clinical practice standards. The need for an interim Panel meeting is determined by the Panel Chair and/or Vice-Chair in conjunction with NCCN Headquarters Guidelines staff.
Issues or clinical questions relevant to the specific NCCN Guidelines are identified during the annual Institutional Review process, by the Panel Chair/Vice-Chair, by literature review, and by Submission Requests. New evidence/clinical data to support the Panel deliberation process for the clinically important questions are requested during the Institutional Review or Submission Request processes, and/or are gathered by the Panel Chair or NCCN Headquarters Guidelines staff from recent publications.