The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) works to improve cancer care through their vast collection of Guidelines for Patients. The latest version of the Guidelines for Patients: Pancreatic Cancer, sponsored by the Hirshberg Foundation, provides information to help patients and their families navigate a pancreatic cancer diagnosis in an empowered and informed way.
The extensive guidelines include care options, treatment protocols, quotes from patients, advice for how to discuss treatment with doctors, and much more. The Guidelines for Patients are based on the recommendations in the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology available to physicians. One of the most recent updates included for patients is the addition of a new first-line therapeutic option, liposomal irinotecan + 5-FU + leucovorin + oxaliplatin (known as NALIRIFOX). This new drug regime has shown promise in early-stage trials conducted by Dr. Zev Wainberg, a member of the UCLA Agi Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Diseases, Professor of Medicine at UCLA and co-director of the UCLA GI Oncology Program.
Another highlight of the updated version is the recommendation that all individuals diagnosed with pancreatic cancer have genetic testing for a range of inherited mutations. The advice is to screen beyond just BRCA1 and BRCA2 to look at an array of mutations that can assist with treatment planning. There is also an expanded section on biomarker profiling for advanced and metastatic pancreatic cancer which can provide a molecular profile of small yet important features of the cancer. Biomarkers detect abnormal changes in cancer cells’ genes that occurred during your lifetime and may also help with treatment planning.
An update that we are excited to focus on is the whole-body approach to treatment that is emphasized in the latest Patient Guidelines. The Hirshberg Foundation has long advocated for a holistic method of treatment that takes into consideration the mind-body connection. The newest updates include details on supportive care that is recommended from the point of diagnosis. Treatment options have also taken on the best-practice of a more individualized approach based on individual and cancer specific characteristics.
The Hirshberg Foundation is proud to support this great work to ensure that all patients and caregivers receive the most up-to-date information to assist them through their cancer journey. The NCCN Guidelines for Patients booklet is available for digital download or to purchase through Amazon.