NCCN Updates Infection Guidelines To Include Information About H1N1 Virus (Swine Flu)

NCCN [National Comprehensive Cancer Network] recently updated the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology™ for the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer-Related Infections to include information about the H1N1 virus, also known as “swine flu”. The NCCN Guidelines provide specific recommendations on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the major common and opportunistic infections that afflict patients with cancer.

National Comprehensive Cancer Network logoInfectious diseases are important causes of morbidity and mortality in patients with cancer. In certain cases, the malignancy itself can predispose patients to severe or recurrent infections. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recognizes the importance of providing the latest information on treating these infections and has developed the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology™ for the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer-Related Infections. The NCCN Guidelines were recently updated to include information about the effect that the H1N1 virus, or “swine flu,” may have on the diagnosis and treatment of cancer treatment-related infections.

The NCCN Guidelines on Prevention and Treatment of Cancer-Related Infections characterize the major categories of immunologic deficits in persons with cancer and the major pathogens to which they are susceptible. Specific recommendations are provided on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the major common and opportunistic infections that afflict patients with cancer.

The H1N1 reference is located in the section of the NCCN Guidelines that lists recommendations for treating lung infiltrates in febrile neutropenic patients. The updated NCCN

This image of the newly identified H1N1 influenza virus ("Swine Flu") was taken in the Centers For Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Influenza Laboratory.

This image of the newly identified H1N1 influenza virus ("Swine Flu") was taken in the Centers For Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Influenza Laboratory.

Guidelines note that certain tests and antiviral treatments that are effective in more common strains of influenza and viruses may not be applicable to the H1N1 strain as well as other seasonal or pandemic strains.

Additional noteworthy updates to the NCCN Guidelines include the addition of doripenem (Doribax®, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) to the Antibacterial Agents Tables and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Viread®, Gilead Sciences, Inc.) to the Antiviral Agents Tables.

NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology™ are developed and updated through an evidence-based process with explicit review of the scientific evidence integrated with expert judgment by multidisciplinary panels of physicians from NCCN Member Institutions. The most recent version of this and all the NCCN Guidelines are available free of charge at NCCN.org.

About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), a not-for-profit alliance of 21 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. For more information, visit NCCN.org.

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