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Chemotherapy and Improved Surgical Techniques Noted as Important Advancements in Treating Ovarian Cancer Over the Last Two Decades

FORT WASHINGTON, PA--(Marketwired - March 09, 2015) - Epithelial ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancer in the United States and is the country's fifth most common cause of cancer mortality in women. In 2015, it is estimated that more than 21,000 new diagnoses and more than 14,000 deaths from this neoplasm will occur in the United States; less than 40 percent of women with ovarian cancer are cured.[1]

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) has published the 20th annual edition of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) for Ovarian Cancer -- one of the original NCCN Guidelines® published in November 1996.

"There have been a number of advancements in the treatment of ovarian cancer since the first NCCN Guidelines were published in 1996," said Robert J. Morgan Jr, MD, FACP, Professor of Medical Oncology, Department of Medical Oncology and Therapeutics Research, City of Hope, and Chair, NCCN Guidelines Panel for Ovarian Cancer. "One major development is the recommendation for intraperitoneal chemotherapy in certain patient populations. Now a category 1 designation, this treatment recommendation was added to the Guidelines when strong evidence was published that showed this treatment approach to have a major improvement on the median survival in women."

Dr. Morgan, who has served as the NCCN Guidelines Panel Chair for Ovarian Cancer for 20 years, remarked that surgical principles for ovarian cancer have changed since the first NCCN Guidelines were published. In the original version, he explained, there was marked disagreement regarding the role of complete surgical staging in low-stage cancer with a category 3 recommendation. "Since that time, the role of surgery has become clearer, and complete surgical staging and/or debulking is now recommended for virtually all patients who are suspected of having any residual disease."

A third major impact on the treatment recommendations for ovarian cancer since 1996 is the addition of bevacizumab and bevacizumab-containing regimens to the NCCN Guidelines. Because improvement in progression-free survival rather than overall survival may be an acceptable treatment outcome, explained Dr. Morgan, bevacizumab-containing regimens are listed; however, these regimens may have differing category 2A, 2B, or 3 recommendations due to the strength of published evidence showing an improvement depending on when in the course of treatment the regimens are used.

"NCCN is proud to have played a role in the advancement treatment of women with ovarian cancer since the first NCCN Guidelines were published in 1996," said Robert W. Carlson, MD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN. "We applaud Dr. Morgan and panel for their decades of service and dedication to improving the outcomes for women with such a deadly disease."

In addition to the NCCN Guidelines for Ovarian Cancer, NCCN also offers the following resources for clinicians and patients: NCCN Guidelines for Genetic/Familial High-Risk Assessment: Breast and Ovarian and NCCN Guidelines for Patients®: Ovarian Cancer.

Today, NCCN develops and maintains 60 NCCN Guidelines, covering 97% of malignant cancers affecting people in the United States. The NCCN Guidelines are developed and updated through an evidence-based process in which the expert panels integrate comprehensive clinical and scientific data with the judgment of the multidisciplinary panel members and other experts drawn from NCCN Member Institutions. Access to the complete library of NCCN Guidelines is available free-of-charge at NCCN.org.

In January, NCCN celebrated its 20th anniversary and on March 12 - 14, 2015, NCCN will host its 20th Annual Conference: Advancing the Standard of Cancer Care™ at The Diplomat in Hollywood, Florida. In recognition of its 20th anniversary, NCCN will host a special live roundtable during the conference featuring NCCN leadership -- past and present -- as well as other stakeholders who have had a significant impact on the development, progressions, and success of NCCN over the years. Noteworthy historical NCCN accomplishments and events will be discussed, as well as the impact NCCN has had and continues to have on the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of cancer care so that patients can live better lives. 

To learn more about NCCN, the NCCN Guidelines, and the NCCN 20th Annual Conference, visit NCCN.org.

About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 25 of the world's leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education, is dedicated to improving the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of cancer care so that patients can live better lives. Through the leadership and expertise of clinical professionals at NCCN Member Institutions, NCCN develops resources that present valuable information to the numerous stakeholders in the health care delivery system. As the arbiter of high-quality cancer care, NCCN promotes the importance of continuous quality improvement and recognizes the significance of creating clinical practice guidelines appropriate for use by patients, clinicians, and other health care decision-makers.

The NCCN Member Institutions are: Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center; City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA; Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center | Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, MA; Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, NC; Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA; Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle, WA; The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD; Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Chicago, IL; Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ, Jacksonville, FL, and Rochester, MN; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY; Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL; The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, Columbus, OH; Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY; Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; St. Jude Children's Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN; Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford, CA; University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center, Birmingham, AL; UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, La Jolla, CA; UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA; University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, CO; University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, MI; The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN; and Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital, New Haven, CT.

Clinicians, visit NCCN.org. Patients and caregivers, visit NCCN.org/patients.

[1] The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) Ovarian Cancer (Version 1.2015). © 2015 National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc. Available at: NCCN.org. Accessed February 25, 2015. To view the most recent and complete version of the NCCN Guidelines®, go online to NCCN.org.

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