Cancer treatment guidelines are compiled on the basis of established evidence. Such evidence is obtained from epidemiological, pathological and pharmacological study and, most importantly of all, the information gained from clinical trials.
However, very little of the kind of evidence that is required for the compilation of treatment guidelines is actually obtained from Asian countries. When one considers the ethnic differences and disparities in medical care, coupled with the tremendous cultural diversity that characterize the Asian region, it would be difficult to conclude that there is currently sufficient evidence that could form the basis for the formulation of guidelines that would be relevant and applicable to all Asian countries. An urgent issue that needs to be addressed in order to achieve a breakthrough in this difficult situation is to build up a body of evidence at an advanced level that is specific to the Asian region and Asian ethnicities. For the interim, however, it is also necessary to efficiently incorporate evidence that has been obtained in Western countries. Furthermore, an effective method of utilizing guidelines that have already been compiled in Western countries is considered to be not by simply translating them into local languages, but rather to engage in a process of adaptation, whereby the guidelines are adjusted or modified to match the circumstances of a particular country or region. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines-Asian Consensus Statement (NCCN-ACS) documents have been compiled with this intention in mind, utilizing the NCCN guidelines that are widely used internationally.
Japanese journal of clinical oncology. 2016 Jan 31 [Epub ahead of print]
Strategic Investigation on Comprehensive Cancer Network, Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies/Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan