Experts Gathered to Discuss Cancer Care, Therapy Updates at NCCN Conference

Experts Gathered to Discuss Cancer Care, Therapy Updates at NCCN Conference

More than 1,700 researchers, clinicians, survivors, patient advocates, and others recently attended the National Comprehensive Cancer Network‘s (NCCN) 23rd Annual Conference held March 22-24 in Orlando, Florida, to talk about cancer care and the latest updates in the field.

The conference included a host of poster sessions, oral presentations, exhibits, talks, emerging cancer treatment updates, and events.

The NCCN is a nonprofit alliance of 27 cancer centers devoted to the care of patients, education, and research. It’s dedicated to improving cancer care so patients can live better lives.

At the 2018 conference, several updates were introduced from the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology, in conditions such as multiple myeloma, melanoma, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and liver cancers.

Three new guidelines were also presented, for uveal melanoma, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and immunotherapy-related toxicity.

Key speakers at the conference talked about the cost of cancer care from public and private payer perspectives, about the issues of value and cost, and about how we can incorporate biosimilars — biologic products that are almost an identical copy of an original product, but much cheaper — into patient treatment plans.

Two NCCN guideline panel chairs also presented suggestions about adapting the guidelines for pain and palliative care to meet different levels of resources.

Other sessions discussed how research can continue to improve the lives of cancer patients.

The Patient Advocacy Pavilion received representatives from more than 25 patient advocacy groups, a record-breaking number, who shared with conference-goers how important it was for them to speak directly to the nurses and clinicians who care for cancer patients.

“The NCCN Conference provides a rare opportunity for the many different voices in cancer care to break out of their siloes and share perspectives with one another,” Robert W. Carlson, MD, and the CEO of the NCCN, said in a press release.

“There are so many different groups working hard to improve the lives of people with cancer, in the way they know best,” he said. “At our conference, not only are expert clinicians sharing the latest research in their specialties, they are also hearing from other stakeholders about how we can all work together to improve cancer care in the future.”

“Ultimately, people with cancer and their caregivers are the reason we are all here,” Carlson added. “Not only are we working hard to keep up with rapidly expanding diagnoses and care options, we’re helping make sure that cancer care worldwide becomes increasingly patient-centric.”

Upcoming NCCN events include a summit titled Policy Strategies for the “New Normal” in Health Care to Ensure Access to High Quality Cancer Care on June 25 in Washington, D.C., and the 13th Annual Congress on Hematologic Malignancies, Sept. 21-22 in New York City.

In NCCN 24th Annual Conference will take place March 21-23, 2019, in Orlando.

The NCCN Guidelines and quick guides for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) were published in March 2016.

These guidelines are broken into three sections — treatment overview, classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin’s lymphoma — to help users quickly access pertinent information.

Each of the NCCN Guidelines for Patients can be found by clicking on the Guidelines by Cancer Type section of the network’s website.

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