FORT LAUDERDALE--Attendees at the first annual conference of the
National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) were enthusiastic
about the presentation of the Network's preliminary guidelines
for eight different cancers, calling the meeting "excellent,"
"informative," and "the first comprehensive effort
at devising guidelines we can all live by."
David Ettinger, MD, of Johns Hopkins Oncology Center, who chaired
the NCCN non-small-cell lung cancer guidelines panel, was pleased
with the feedback he received from physicians at the conference
about improvements they would like to see, such as more specific
levels of evidence for recommendations.
In an interview with Oncology News International, Dr. Ettinger
noted the large amount of work yet to be done in completing the
guidelines in a reasonable period of time and in beginning the
process of measuring outcomes.
Several attendees interviewed by Oncology News International mentioned
that they were pleased to see cancer guidelines being written
by oncolo-gists. "If practitioners aren't putting guidelines
together, we're going to have insurance companies doing it for
us," said Linda Frame, RN, MS, OCN, director of education
at the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Dallas.
Ms. Frame believes that by setting standards, guidelines will
help women make informed decisions about their breast cancer treatment.
William C. Brooks, MD, medical director for cancer services, St.
Paul Medical Center, Dallas, said that he plans to incorporate
aspects of the guidelines into the teaching program at his institution.
Lisa Doria, RN, CNS, of the Hacken-sack Medical Center, NJ, said
that the development of cancer guidelines is "a very large
project for one group to accomplish on its own." She suggested
that the NCCN might want to include other national organizations
in the process.