Oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology

ASCO Care and Treatment Recommendations for Patients

ASCO Care and Treatment Recommendations for Patients are easy-to-read summaries based on ASCO Clinical Practice Guidelines that offer a patient-oriented view of the guidelines: providing background information, discussing the recommendations, explaining what those recommendations mean for patients, and providing a list of questions patients can ask their doctors for more information.  The date on each guideline is when ASCO last published an update in response to new or revised scientific evidence. Each guideline listed here is considered the best available information on this topic to date.

All guides are available in text or in PDF format. Selected ASCO Care and Treatment Recommendations for Patients have been translated into Spanish and are available in Cancer.Net's En Espanol section.

ASCO welcomes feedback from the cancer community, including patients, about its clinical practice guideline development process, by providing feedback or submitting evidence on individual published guidelines. Learn more at this website.

Watch a patient education video led by Dr. Mark Kris explaining treatment guidelines.

February 22, 2011

To help doctors give their patients the best possible care, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) developed evidence-based recommendations for using drugs, called bone-modifying drugs, for advanced breast cancer that has spread to the bone to help prevent bone-related problems. In 2011, this guideline was updated based on results from clinical trials of these drugs, including new information about a possible condition experienced by some people taking bone-modifying drugs. It also includes a new drug, denosumab (Xgeva), which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This guide for patients is based on ASCO’s most recent recommendations.

February 18, 2011

On February 9, 2011, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published the results of a randomized clinical trial showing that axillary dissection (the removal and analysis of the lymph nodes under the arm) for patients with breast cancer did not increase overall survival or lead to fewer recurrences (return of the cancer after treatment). All patients who participated in this study had a lumpectomy (removal of the tumor and a small cancer-free margin of tissue), radiation therapy, and a sentinel lymph node biopsy that showed cancer cells in one or two underarm lymph nodes.

October 25, 2010

To help doctors give their patients the best possible care, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the American Society of Hematology (ASH) developed evidence-based recommendations about the use of epoetin (Epogen, Procrit) or darbepoetin (Aranesp) for chemotherapy-related anemia. In 2010, this guideline was updated to reflect results of recent clinical studies and a new analysis of combined data on the use of these drugs. It also summarizes the changes to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) approved prescribing recommendations. This guide for patients is based on the most recent ASCO and ASH recommendations.

June 7, 2010

To help doctors give their patients the best possible care, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the American Society of Hematology (ASH) developed evidence-based recommendations about the use of epoetin (Epogen, Procrit) or darbepoetin (Aranesp) for chemotherapy-related anemia. In 2010, this guideline was updated to reflect results of recent clinical studies and a new analysis of combined data on the use of these drugs. It also summarizes the changes to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) approved prescribing recommendations. This guide for patients is based on the most recent ASCO and ASH recommendations.

June 1, 2010

ASCO has issued a provisional clinical opinion recommending that selected patients at high risk for infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) be screened before receiving treatment with chemotherapy since there is a chance that an inactive infection could become active again with treatment that suppresses the immune system. A provisional clinical opinion offers direction to doctors and others who treat people with cancer after the publication or presentation of potentially practice-changing information.

April 19, 2010

To help doctors give their patients the best possible care, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the College of American Pathologists (CAP) developed evidence-based recommendations to improve the accuracy of testing for estrogen and progesterone receptors for breast cancer. This guide for patients is based on ASCO’s and CAP’s recommendations.

October 22, 2007

To help doctors give their patients the best possible care, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) asks its medical experts to develop recommendations for specific areas of cancer care. In 2001, ASCO published a clinical practice guideline about tumor markers for breast and colorectal cancers. The scope of this guideline was expanded and updated in 2007 and recently updated in 2009. This patient guide is based on ASCO's recommendations and focuses specifically on breast cancer.

October 22, 2007

To help doctors give their patients the best possible care, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) asks its medical experts to develop recommendations for specific areas of cancer care. ASCO and Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) together developed recommendations for treatment after surgery for non-small cell lung cancer. This patient guide is based on their recommendations.

May 21, 2007

To help doctors give their patients the best possible care, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) asks its medical experts to develop recommendations for specific areas of cancer care. In 2002, ASCO published a clinical practice guideline about bisphosphonate treatment for multiple myeloma. The scope of this guideline was expanded and updated in 2007. This patient guide is based on ASCO's recommendations.

April 2, 2007

To help doctors give their patients the best possible care, ASCO asks its medical experts to develop recommendations for specific areas of cancer care. In 2004, ASCO published a clinical practice guideline about hormone therapy for advanced prostate cancer. This guideline was updated in 2007 to reflect developments in the treatment of advanced prostate cancer. This patient guide is based on ASCO's recommendations.

October 23, 2006

To help doctors give their patients the best possible care, ASCO asks its medical experts to develop recommendations for specific areas of cancer care. ASCO recently updated a clinical practice guideline about the use of tumor markers in gastrointestinal cancers. This patient guide is based on ASCO's recommendations.

July 3, 2006

To help doctors give their patients the best possible care, ASCO asks its medical experts to develop recommendations for specific areas of cancer care. ASCO recently issued a clinical practice guideline about larynx preservation. This patient guide is based on ASCO's recommendations.

May 8, 2006

ASCO recently updated a clinical practice guideline about the use of white blood cell growth factors. This patient guide is based on ASCO's recommendations.

August 16, 2004

To help doctors give their patients the best possible care, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) developed evidence-based recommendations for adjuvant chemotherapy for stage II colon cancer. This guide for patients is based on ASCO’s recommendations.

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