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New Treatment Options Featured in NCCN Multiple Myeloma Clinical Practice Guidelines

JENKINTOWN, PA, September 8, 2003 – The National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of nineteen of the world’s leading cancer centers, announces an update of the NCCN Multiple Myeloma Clinical Practice Guidelines. The NCCN’s panel of oncology experts has added bortezomib (Velcade™; Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Cambridge, MA) to its listing of chemotherapeutic agents that are considered appropriate for patients with progressive or refractory multiple myeloma who have previously been treated with conventional dose chemotherapy alone or followed by high dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplant. Bortezomib is the first in a new class of drugs (i.e., proteasome inhibitors) to be approved by the FDA. Another update is the inclusion of the combination of thalidomide (Thalomid®; Celgene Corporation, Warren, NJ) and dexamethasone on the list of options for the primary treatment of disseminated disease. Thalidomide had previously been recommended as an approach to managing progressive or refractory multiple myeloma.

“NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology are widely recognized as the standard for clinical policy in oncology. Additionally, they are being used increasingly by managed care companies to help establish coverage policy, ” said Rodger J. Winn, MD, Chair of the NCCN Guideline Steering Committee. “As such, the NCCN recognizes its responsibility to provide up-to-date information to inform decision-making. Thus, the NCCN Guidelines process is an ongoing, continual process.”

NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology are available free of charge on CD-ROM. These can be ordered from NCCN by calling 215-690-0300. The guidelines can also be found at www.nccn.org.

Source: The National Comprehensive Cancer Network

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