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ASCO Endorses President Biden’s Pick of ASCO Past President Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO, as Incoming Head of National Cancer Institute


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Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, FASCO

Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, FASCO

Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO

Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO

Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, FASCO, Chief Executive Officer of ASCO, issued the following statement on July 21:

ASCO applauds President Biden for his reported decision to appoint ASCO Past President Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO, as the new Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). An accomplished cancer surgeon and researcher with deep expertise in community-based cancer research, Dr. Bertagnolli has the knowledge, passion, and skill set to successfully lead the nation’s top federal cancer research agency and the wider U.S. cancer research enterprise. We enthusiastically endorse her selection, recognizing Dr. Bertagnolli’s distinguished leadership and experience in advancing evidence-based cancer care and research.

Dr. Bertagnolli served as President of ASCO from 2018 to 2019. During her presidential year, she continually highlighted the need for oncologists to learn from every single patient with cancer, including through clinical research and the application of real-world data and real-world evidence, so that we can accelerate progress and every patient can have the best possible outcome for their disease. She also spearheaded efforts to increase access to equitable cancer care in rural areas, challenging the status quo and working to remove barriers to patient participation in clinical research, like geographic distance and lack of coverage for routine care costs associated with participating in trials.

Through her work as Chair of the mCode® Executive Committee, Dr. Bertagnolli successfully spearheaded development of mCODE®—short for Minimal Common Oncology Data Elements— a health data standard now approved by Health Level Seven International (HL7) designed to facilitate digital cancer data interoperability and improve patient care and research.

Additionally, as Group Chair of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, a national NCI-funded clinical trials group, Dr. Bertagnolli has a strong understanding of the NCI’s mission and how it works to improve the lives of patients with cancer. This expertise will be critically important as the NCI continues to address priorities like improving overall access, eligibility, and diversity in clinical trials; increasing investigator-initiated research funding; and advancing the Cancer Moonshot to improve outcomes for patients with cancer.

We know Dr. Bertagnolli is a powerful force and a perfect choice to lead the NCI as we face novel challenges but also some of the most exciting opportunities that promise to advance our insights, treatment, and care of patients with cancer.

We look forward to working with her and the dedicated professionals at the NCI to advance our shared goals and continue the United States’ leadership in biomedical research.

To learn more about Dr. Bertagnolli, read her interview with The ASCO Post from 2018.

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.
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