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ESMO publishes updated guidelines on cancer care

July 09, 2010

Enhanced and revised documents provide vital, evidence-based information for treating cancer

The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) just released an enhanced and revised set of clinical recommendations designed to help oncologists deliver the best quality care to their patients.

The ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) offer vital, evidence-based information including the incidence of the malignancy, diagnostic criteria, staging of disease and risk assessment, treatment plans and follow-up.

Formerly known as the ESMO Clinical Recommendations, the ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines are intended to provide users with a set of requirements for the highest standard of care for cancer patients.

"The Clinical Practice Guidelines are central to ESMO's mission, which is to advance cancer care and cure through fostering and disseminating good science that leads to better medicine and determines best practice," said ESMO President Prof David Kerr.

A growing number of the new guidelines have been developed using large, multidisciplinary writing groups, ensuring optimal input from the oncology profession and a better geographic representation.

"ESMO is constantly striving to improve the care of cancer patients worldwide," said Prof Kerr. "By developing these new guidelines with the assistance of a wide range of clinicians we can help share the joint expertise of the world's best doctors from many disciplines."

The ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines include guidelines for breast cancer, colorectal cancer and non-small-cell lung cancer that have been expanded to include more treatment details and further discussion of the importance of multidisciplinary plans for particular patient settings.

Lung cancer is now dealt with in two distinct guidelines, one covering early and locally-advanced cancer, while the other focuses on metastatic disease.

One new guideline is focused specifically on cardiotoxicity, a potential side-effect of some chemotherapeutic agents.

Four further guidelines have been rewritten, drawing on the knowledge of the global oncology community. These include guidelines on soft tissue sarcoma and bone sarcoma, and a guideline on the prevention of chemotherapy- and radiotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

The guideline on the prevention of chemotherapy- and radiotherapy-induced nausea was developed as the result of the 3rd Perugia Consensus Conference organized by the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) and ESMO.

"ESMO is striving to further increase the value of its guidelines by introducing a more multidisciplinary approach in their development, not only through the use of physical meetings but also through the ESMO Professional Networking Community," said Prof Kerr.

Other guidelines have also been reviewed:

* Pancreatic cancer: including more detail relating to treatment planning in all stages of the disease.

* epatacellular cancer: including an expanded section in surgical and medical treatment, especially targeted therapy.

* Multiple myeloma: revised according to new drug indications.

* Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST): revised with more treatment-orientated details.

* Cancer, fertility and pregnancy: including more information on treatment, especially surgery and highlighting problems of breast, cervical and myeloma cancer in pregnancy as well as further details about delivery of chemotherapy, hormonal and targeted therapy, radiotherapy and supportive agents in pregnant women with cancer.

* Endometrial cancer: including a new section of histology and further guidance on treatment options in these settings.

* Management of febrile neutropenia: including more detail on treatment assessments and how to manage patients.

The new guidelines published in June represent the first stage of a process that will include guidelines for more than 55 different clinical situations, covering almost all tumor types as well as various other topics, including the therapeutic use of growth factors.

European Society for Medical Oncology


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