National Comprehensive Cancer Network Postpones 2020 Annual Conference, Citing Precautions against Potential Patient Exposure to COVID-19


PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., March 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) announced today that the organization is postponing the NCCN 2020 Annual Conference and pre-conference programs scheduled for March 19-22 in Orlando, FL. The gathering for more than 1,500 oncology professionals was going to feature more than 30 educational sessions on state-of-the-art practices in cancer care, presented by leading experts from NCCN's 28 Member Institutions. NCCN officials were compelled to postpone in response to the rapidly evolving situation involving the potential spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

"The health and safety of our attendees and the patients they take care of is our number one concern," said Robert W. Carlson, MD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN. "This was an incredibly difficult and disappointing decision to have to make. However, our conference attendees work to save the lives of immunocompromised people every day. Some of them are cancer survivors themselves, particularly at our patient advocacy pavilion. It's our responsibility, in an abundance of caution, to safeguard them from any potential exposure to COVID-19."

"We have a moral and professional obligation to do what we can individually and collectively to minimize the spread of COVID-19," said Ronald S. Walters, MD, MBA, MHA, MS, Chair, NCCN Board of Directors, and a Breast Medical Oncologist at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. "Under the current circumstances, due diligence means thoughtfully curtailing any non-essential travel or gatherings for people across the oncology care ecosystem."

NCCN leadership sought advice from leading infectious disease experts before deciding to postpone the conference, which was also going to include a celebration of the organization's 25th anniversary.

"NCCN will continue to ensure that cancer care providers all over the world can stay up-to-date on the latest evidence- and expert consensus-based recommendations through our NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®), available for free online or by app, and through our continuing education congresses and webinars," said Dr. Carlson. "We're exploring additional ways technology can help us to share any critical cancer management updates we had planned to discuss during the conference. We look forward to future events, when the health landscape will hopefully be improved."

NCCN staff is working as quickly as possible to notify all conference registrants about the postponement and further information regarding the refund process. Questions can be directed to

About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) is a not-for-profit alliance of 28 leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education. NCCN is dedicated to improving and facilitating quality, effective, efficient, and accessible cancer care so patients can live better lives. 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. By defining and advancing 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 around the world.

The NCCN Member Institutions are: Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, Omaha, NE; Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland, OH; City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA; Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center | Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, MA; Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, NC; Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA; Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle, WA; The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD; Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Chicago, IL; Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ, Jacksonville, FL, and Rochester, MN; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY; Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL; The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, Columbus, OH; O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB, Birmingham, AL; Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, NY; Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; St. Jude Children's Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN; Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford, CA; UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, La Jolla, CA; UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA; University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, CO; University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, MI; The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Madison, WI; Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN; and Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital, New Haven, CT.

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Rachel Darwin



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SOURCE National Comprehensive Cancer Network


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