ASCO Endorses President Biden’s Pick of ASCO Past President Dr. Monica M. Bertagnolli as Incoming Head of National Cancer Institute

Statement by Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, FASCO, Chief Executive Officer, American Society of Clinical Oncology
For immediate release
August 10, 2022


Melissa Lee

"The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) applauds President Biden for his 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 skillset 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 the American Society of Clinical Oncology 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 cancer patients. 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."

About ASCO: 

Founded in 1964, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) is committed to making a world of difference in cancer care. As the world’s leading organization of its kind, ASCO represents nearly 45,000 oncology professionals who care for people living with cancer. Through research, education, and promotion of the highest-quality patient care, ASCO works to conquer cancer and create a world where cancer is prevented or cured, and every survivor is healthy. ASCO is supported by its affiliate organization, the Conquer Cancer Foundation. Learn more at, explore patient education resources at www.Cancer.Net, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.