August 12, 2022 — The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) today expressed its support for President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s intended appointment of Monica Bertagnolli, MD, as director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), with the following statement from Laura A. Dawson, MD, FASTRO, Chair of the ASTRO Board of Directors:
“ASTRO congratulates Dr. Monica Bertagnolli on her appointment to lead the National Cancer Institute. The radiation oncology community looks forward to working with Dr. Bertagnolli and the NCI on efforts to improve patient outcomes and address disparities in cancer care, such as the recently reignited Cancer Moonshot initiative.
Collaboration between public and private sectors contributed to averting more than three million deaths from cancer in the U.S. over the past three decades. The COVID-19 pandemic introduced new threats to this progress, however, such as delayed cancer screenings, interruptions to most non-COVID clinical trials and widened care gaps that negatively affect patients from marginalized communities, such as those in lower socioeconomic brackets and in more remote areas. ASTRO stands ready to work with Dr. Bertagnolli and her team to renew the progress toward cures and improved quality of life for people with cancer, and to advance policies that support more inclusive clinical trials.”
Radiation therapy is partially or fully responsible for 40% of all cancer cures, yet National Institutes of Health (NIH) forecasts indicate that radiation oncology research accounts for less than 6% of the FY2022 NCI budget. ASTRO looks forward to working with Dr. Bertagnolli to ensure radiation oncology contributes substantially to achieving President Biden’s goal of reducing cancer mortality by 50% over the next 25 years.
For more information: www.astro.org