2 Notes on the scope of the guidance

2 Notes on the scope of the guidance

NICE guidelines are developed in accordance with a scope that defines what the guideline will and will not cover. The scope of this guideline is available – click on 'How this guidance was produced'.

Groups that will be covered

  • Adults (18 years and older) who have a provisional diagnosis of metastatic malignant disease with or without histological or cytological confirmation, in whom a primary site has not been identified and in whom further investigation is needed.

  • Adults who, following appropriate investigation, are found to have histologically or cytologically confirmed metastatic carcinoma but no apparent site of primary tumour, and for whom subsequent management needs to be considered.

  • Adults who have had a previous diagnosis of cancer treated with a curative intent, who present with metastatic malignant disease and in whom it is uncertain whether this is a recurrence or related to a new primary tumour.

  • No patient subgroups needing special consideration have been identified.

Groups that will not be covered

  • Children (younger than 18).

  • Adults with histologically or cytologically confirmed malignant lymphoma.

  • Adults with an established or highly probable primary site of malignant carcinoma or sarcoma on the basis of clinical examination or imaging, with or without histological or cytological confirmation.

How this guideline was developed

NICE commissioned the National Collaborating Centre for Cancer to develop this guideline. The Centre established a Guideline Development Group (see appendix A), which reviewed the evidence and developed the recommendations. An independent Guideline Review Panel oversaw the development of the guideline (see appendix B).

There is more information about how NICE clinical guidelines are developed on the NICE website. A booklet, 'How NICE clinical guidelines are developed: an overview for stakeholders, the public and the NHS' is available.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)