National Comprehensive Cancer Network NSCLC Guideline Updates for 2016: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

By Erik J. MacLaren, PhD

The table at right lists key updates to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Guidelines for NSCLC as of February 2016. These guidelines are not determined solely by evidence, but also incorporate expert opinion and are subject to frequent updates.

Recommendations by NCCN fall into 1 of 4 categories of evidence and consensus. Over 80% of the categories of evidence and consensus in the NCCN NSCLC guidelines are Category 2A unless otherwise noted. Category 1 recommendations reflect uniform expert consensus based on strong evidence, Category 2A recommendations reflect uniform expert consensus based on lower-level evidence, Category 2B recommendations are based on lower-level evidence accompanied by less-than-uniform expert consensus, and Category 3 recommendations are the most controversial and subject of significant expert debate. When this designation is used, there is major disagreement about the appropriateness of the intervention. Such a category means the intervention is not approved.

* Erlotinib is FDA approved for metastatic EGFR-positive NSCLC regardless of the number of metastatic lesions, and NCCN continues to recommend its use in patients with an isolated lesion.
** Erlotinib is FDA-approved for first-line and maintenance treatment of locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC.

This list of updates is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather to highlight some of the more significant changes to the NCCN NSCLC guidelines so far in 2016. The fulllength version of these guidelines is updated several times a year and can be found at This resource contains information on the prevention, diagnosis, and management of NSCLC and is used as an invaluable reference by clinicians around the globe to keep up with real-time advances and updates in cancer care. IASLC Lung Cancer News will provide periodic summaries of ongoing updates. ✦