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Dr Clifford Goodman Peers 20 Years Into the Future of NCCN

As the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) celebrates 20 years, Clifford Goodman, PhD, takes a look at how NCCN will evolve after another 20 years, including constant streaming of real-time data and more patient involvement.


In 2015, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) celebrated 20 years. Clifford Goodman, PhD, senior vice president and director at the Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research at The Lewin Group, took a look 20 years into the future to see how NCCN will have evolved.

Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

Twenty years from now, how do you expect the NCCN guidelines will have changed?

Twenty years from now, NCCN is going to look a lot different; that's what I think. The membership of NCCN was built upon doctors, oncologists, others who treat patients as physicians. But I think we're going to realize 20 years from now, the team approach is going to be much more important in cancer care and these team members need to be involved in researcher, in quality measurement, in evidence development, clinical practice guidelines, and so forth. The membership, I think, is going to look a lot more diversified: nurse oncologists, social workers, all kinds of therapists that you need to make this work. Even people who provide financial advice.

The second thing, I think, is that we are going to realize—for financial and epidemiological reasons—that we need to spend a lot more time focusing on cancer prevention. So, of course, by nature, you would expect when NCCN was formed we were really most involved with looking at therapies: diagnosis and treatment. Because there was a lot of cancer to diagnose and treat. But from a societal standpoint there would be much greater value placed on prevention, and I think NCCN will be much more oriented around that.

I think the third way in which it is going to change is: more patient involvement, much more than we see now. Already, for good reasons, NCCN has patient representation. But you're going to see patients much more suffused throughout the organization: on the guidelines, in quality measurement, in data collection. Patients will have a greater voice and higher participation in NCCN activities.

The fourth major change has to do with data. We've talked a lot about real-world data at the [NCCN annual meeting] and in 20 years, data will be coming in real time, full stream. And there will be a constant iterative loop of data input, updating guidelines and pathways and so forth. There won't be a wait for a study to be developed. There won't be a wait for traditional clinical trials. We will have different sorts of clinical trials, different designs and so forth, but real-world streaming data on a constant basis. And updating any of the documents, guidelines, and other types of things NCCN produces, that will be going on in much more rapid turnaround fashion.

So I think that's what it will look like in 20 years.

 
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