The NCCN Guidelines are the backbone for determining medical care for patients with cancer. - Dr. Devon Webster, Oncologist
Portland, OR (PRWEB) May 24, 2013
The NCCN Guidelines are “the backbone for determining medical care for patients with cancer,” according to Dr. Devon Webster, a medical oncologist and Associate Medical Director at AllMed Healthcare Management. During a recent webinar for health plan nurses and claims managers, Dr. Webster provided an overview of the latest updates to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Guidelines. The Guidelines, which detail the sequential management decisions and interventions for malignant cancers, are widely used as the standard for clinical policy in oncology by clinicians, utilization review and case management professionals.
Dr. Webster explained that the NCCN recommendations are classified according to various categories of evidence and consensus (category 1, category 2A, category 2B, and category 3). Unless otherwise noted, all recommendations in the NCCN Guidelines are category 2A, which means that they are based upon lower-level evidence and that there is uniform NCCN consensus that the intervention is appropriate.
Dr. Webster summarized recent NCCN updates for breast, colon, lung, and thyroid cancers, which featured changes and additions to screening, workup, and treatment approaches. For example, Dr. Webster outlined how in the guidelines for breast cancer that for Metastatic Disease, Ado-trasutuzumab emtansine (Herceptin DM1) is preferred for treatment of HER2+ disease with prior exposure to Herceptin. Also, for adjuvant chemotherapy, TAC is no longer preferred, dose dense AC followed by weekly Taxol is now preferred. To download the slide deck from this presentation which, details these updates click here: http://allmedmd.com/resources/interpreting-the-nccn-guidelines. She also discussed the first-ever NCCN Guidelines for Survivorship. There are now more than 13 million cancer survivors in the United States, and proper ongoing care for these survivors depends upon accurate assessment of their needs and concerns on a routine basis.
As new data are published continuously, the NCCN Guidelines are also continuously updated and revised to reflect new data and new clinical information. According to Dr. Webster, the NCCN Guidelines provide recommendations for appropriate care for most, but not all, patients. Individual patient circumstances must always be considered when applying these recommendations, along with the category of evidence and consensus assigned to each recommendation.
As diagnostic testing and therapies for cancer continue to evolve rapidly and become increasingly complex, Dr. Webster acknowledged the challenge that clinicians face in keeping up-to-date with the latest medical research and standard of care. But she also stressed the importance of referring to the most recently updated NCCN Guidelines in order to ensure that all patients receive optimal preventive, diagnostic, treatment, and supportive services.
AllMed Healthcare Management provides physician review outsourcing solutions to leading health plans, medical management organizations, TPAs and integrated health systems, nationwide. AllMed offers MedReview(sm), MedCert(sm), and MedDirector(sm) staffing services that cover initial pre-authorizations and both internal and external appeals, drawing on a panel of over 400 board-certified specialists in all areas of medicine. Services are deployed through PeerPoint(R), AllMed's state-of-the-art medical review portal. For more information on how AllMed can help your organization improve the quality and integrity of healthcare, contact us today at info(at)allmedmd(dot)com, or visit us at http://www.allmedmd.com.