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.