President’s Cancer Panel Report Highlights Opportunities to Accelerate Progress Toward the National Cancer Plan

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A new report from the President’s Cancer Panel offers recommendations in five priority areas to accelerate progress toward implementing the National Cancer Plan and achieving the Biden-Harris Administration’s Cancer Moonshot goal of ending cancer as we know it. The report, delivered to President Biden in February 2024, presents findings from the Panel’s initial assessment of the National Cancer Plan, which the Panel endorses as a roadmap for the National Cancer Program.

In its report, the Panel urges continued and new focus in five priority areas to ensure that every person in the United States has equitable access to the best possible resources and care for cancer risk reduction, detection, treatment, and survivorship.

The recommendations in the five priority areas are:

  1. Increase investment in biomedical research: Public investments alone are not enough to accelerate progress in cancer research. The private sector must increase its funding for cancer research taking place at academic and other publicly funded institutions.
  2. Ensure access to high-quality insurance coverage for all: Lack of health insurance or inadequate coverage can make it hard to access high-quality and timely cancer care. States that have not yet expanded their Medicaid programs must do so.
  3. Build a sustainable, robust, and diverse workforce: Oncology workforce shortages and lack of diversity in health-care teams may impact the quality of cancer care. Public and private investments are needed to support and retain a robust and diverse oncology workforce.
  4. Promote dynamic and sustainable community engagement: Patient and community engagement are essential to building trust, understanding and addressing community needs, and improving health outcomes. Policies and sustainable funding must support this engagement.
  5. Prioritize data sharing and integration to accelerate research: Data drives progress in cancer care and research. Additional efforts are required to improve interoperability, optimize the usability and availability of data, and promote the transparency of clinical trial results.

The National Cancer Plan was released in 2023 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with leadership from then–National Cancer Institute (NCI) Director Monica Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO. It provides a comprehensive framework for collaboration to guide the nation’s efforts against cancer. Less than a year after the Plan’s release, the Panel began monitoring its implementation by gathering information about progress toward the Plan’s goals. The Panel used input from a stakeholder meeting held in September 2023 and public contributions received via email and social media to identify challenges in implementing the Plan and opportunities to accelerate progress against cancer.  

To read the full February 2024 report, visit

About the President’s Cancer Panel

The President’s Cancer Panel consists of three members appointed by the President of the United States. Current members are Elizabeth M. Jaffee, MD, FAACR, FACP, FAAAS, FAIO (Chair); Mitchel S. Berger, MD, FACS, FAANS; and Carol Brown, MD, FACOG, FACS. The Panel, established by the National Cancer Act of 1971, is a federal advisory committee charged with monitoring the National Cancer Program and reporting to the President on any barriers to its execution. The Panel does not conduct scientific research, and while administrative support for the Panel is provided by the NCI at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under the HHS, its conclusions and recommendations should not be inferred as policy or perspectives of the NCI, NIH, or HHS.

ASCO's Role in the Newly Released Report

ASCO and other organizations participated in the Panel's September 2023 stakeholder meeting. One of the initiatives ASCO highlighted during the stakeholder meeting was ASCO Certified—a new program that certifies outpatient oncology group practices and health systems that meet a single set of evidence-based oncology medical home standards to deliver high-quality, evidence-based, patient-centered care. In the pilot program, 100% of participants reported that they benefited from having a blueprint for delivering “high-quality, [value-based] cancer care.”

The report also highlighted the Minimal Common Data Elements (mCODE) project, noting the progress it has made in addressing the technical and infrastructure challenges of data sharing and integration. The project, launched by ASCO and MITRE in 2018, is a multistakeholder effort to develop and implement standard data elements for all oncology medical records.

Other ASCO programs listed include the Montana rural cancer care demonstration project, a multiyear pilot program to increase access to high-quality cancer care in rural areas; the Research Site Self-Assessment and Just ASK training program to help research sites improve equity, diversity, and inclusion in clinical trials; the State of Cancer Care in America series published in JCO Oncology Practice; as well as ways ASCO is supporting workforce diversity and the organization's Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan.

"The growing cancer crisis demands a national effort like the National Cancer Plan, which is characterized by collaboration and partnership," said ASCO President Lynn Schuchter, MD, FASCO. "ASCO was honored to participate in the President’s Cancer Panel’s event and to learn more about how the cancer community is working to support the plan. These collective efforts are required to meet the challenge of the growing cancer burden and ASCO is deeply committed to this work.”

“We look forward to continuing ASCO's work to support the National Cancer Plan and will continue to engage with our members and stakeholders to identify opportunities to achieve its goals," Dr. Schuchter concluded.