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NCCN Guidelines

Introduction by Tom Stinchcombe

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) consists of 27 cancer centers in the United States who work collaboratively to develop guidelines for treatment by disease site, supportive care, and detection, prevention, and risk reduction for all cancers. The thoracic oncology panels include members from medical oncology, thoracic surgery, pathology, and patient advocates. The panels update the guidelines regularly and then develop convenient flow diagrams for each clinical situation, with supportive text and references at the end of the guidelines. In the United States, the NCCN guidelines are used to assess quality of care, and can be used to support coverage from third-party payers. The NCCN qualifies recommendations, and the higher levels of evidence and/or consensus are category 1 and category 2A. Category 2B represents a lower level of evidence and/or agreement and category 3 indicates there is disagreement about the role of the intervention. All recommendations are 2A unless otherwise noted. In thoracic oncology, guidelines are available for non-small cell lung cancer, small cell lung cancer, malignant pleural mesothelioma, thymoma and thymic carcinomas, lung cancer screening, and smoking cessation.  Guidelines are available for providers as well as patients. The guidelines are readily available at:



TNM Staging