Healthcare Industry News:  sunitinib malate 

Biopharmaceuticals Oncology

 News Release - May 10, 2006

NCCN Announces Important Updates to Soft Tissue Sarcoma Guidelines

JENKINTOWN, Pa.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--May 10, 2006--The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) announces updates to the NCCN Soft Tissue Sarcoma Guidelines. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology(TM) are widely recognized and applied as the standard for clinical policy in oncology in both the community practice setting and in academic cancer centers. These guidelines are used extensively by managed care companies and by Medicare as the basis for coverage policies. These guidelines are updated continually and are based upon evaluation of scientific data integrated with expert judgment.

The NCCN Soft Tissue Sarcoma panel recently updated the guidelines to version 2.2006 due to the FDA approval of sunitinib malate (Sutent, Pfizer), a small molecule receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) inhibitor, for the treatment of gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) after disease progression on or intolerance to imatinib mesylate. Efficacy and safety in GIST patients were evaluated in a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial in patients who had disease progression during prior imatinib treatment or who were imatinib-intolerant. A planned interim efficacy and safety analysis demonstrated a statistically significant advantage for sunitinib over placebo in the primary endpoint of time to progression, as well as in the secondary endpoint of progression-free survival. The panel added sunitinib to the guidelines as a treatment consideration for patients with progressive disease.

"The area of cancer therapeutics is rapidly advancing. All constituencies (for example, physicians, patients, payors) in the cancer community look to the NCCN Guidelines as the most up-to-date, authoritative source of sound, scientific information to inform and improve decision-making. The NCCN remains committed to a guideline process that communicates to all, free of charge, recommendations about appropriate care," said William T. McGivney, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of the NCCN.

For a detailed listing of all updates to the NCCN Guidelines, please go to www.nccn.org.

About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), a not-for-profit alliance of 20 of the world's leading cancer centers, is dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients with cancer. 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 primary goal of all NCCN initiatives is to improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of oncology practice so patients can live better lives.

The NCCN member institutions are: City of Hope Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA; Dana-Farber/Partners CancerCare, Boston, MA; Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center, 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; Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital & Richard J. Solove Research Institute at The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD; Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Chicago, IL; Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY; H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute at the University of South Florida, Tampa, FL; 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/University of Tennessee Cancer Institute, Memphis, TN; Stanford Hospital & Clinics, Stanford, CA; University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center, Birmingham, AL; UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA; University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, MI; UNMC Eppley Cancer Center at The University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE; and The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.


Source: NCCN

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