Newswise — ARLINGTON, Va., November 1, 2019 — The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) today expressed strong support for the nomination of radiation oncologist Stephen Hahn, MD, FASTRO, as Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dr. Hahn served on the ASTRO Board of Directors from 2014 to 2018. ASTRO urges the Senate to swiftly confirm the nomination announced today by President Donald Trump.
Dr. Hahn has broad knowledge as a clinician, researcher, educator and administrative leader, and he previously obtained the rank of commander in the U.S. Public Health Service. He is well-versed on the drug, biologic and device development pipeline, demonstrated by his role in developing multiple medical products. His clinical expertise and training in internal medicine, medical oncology and radiation oncology, as well as his international recognition in treating lung cancer, give him the ability to tackle some of the toughest issues facing the FDA.
Several members of ASTRO's leadership who have worked with Dr. Hahn shared their support of his nomination:
"I have known Dr. Hahn for many years and have served with him in numerous capacities. He possesses the qualities needed to successfully lead the FDA… intelligence, medical and scientific expertise, an engaging style and a clear sense of how to get to the right answer, particularly in complicated situations.”
-- Theodore L. DeWeese, MD, FASTRO; Chair, ASTRO Board of Directors 2019-2020; Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs, Sidney Kimmel Professor and Director of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
"During his tenure on the ASTRO Board, Dr. Hahn always brought insightful questions to our deliberations. He takes the time to listen to all sides before he reaches a decision, which will be important in this new role. I also don't know that I have ever seen anyone who can cover as much ground as he can cover. His depth of knowledge will allow him to accomplish the many tasks ahead as FDA Commissioner.”
-- Laura I. Thevenot; Chief Executive Officer, ASTRO
"Dr. Hahn is a brilliant physician leader with the highest levels of integrity and problem-solving talent. With a background in radiation oncology and medical oncology, he is uniquely positioned to advance the crucial work of the FDA.”
-- Ronald Ennis, MD, FASTRO; Government Relations Council Chair, ASTRO Board of Directors 2019-2020; Professor of Radiation Oncology and Vice Chair of Network Integration and Quality, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
ASTRO previously expressed its support of Dr. Hahn after news reports in September suggested he was being considered for the FDA leadership post. That statement, from then-ASTRO Chair Paul Harari, MD FASTRO, noted how Dr. Hahn's clinical experience could translate into success leading the FDA:
"A culture of safety is woven into the fabric of radiation oncology, making Dr. Hahn expertly suited to further FDA’s mission of protecting the public health. At the same time, Dr. Hahn’s experience using some of the most sophisticated medical devices in health care gives him insight and expertise to drive progress for the benefit of patients and consumers."
-- Paul Harari, MD, FASTRO; Chair, ASTRO Board of Directors 2018-2019; Jack Fowler Professor and Chairman of Human Oncology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) is the world’s largest radiation oncology society, with more than 10,000 members who are physicians, nurses, biologists, physicists, radiation therapists, dosimetrists and other health care professionals who specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. The Society is dedicated to improving patient care through professional education and training, support for clinical practice and health policy standards, advancement of science and research, and advocacy. ASTRO publishes three medical journals, International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics, Practical Radiation Oncology and Advances in Radiation Oncology; developed and maintains an extensive patient website, RT Answers; and created the nonprofit foundation Radiation Oncology Institute. To learn more about ASTRO, visit our website, sign up to receive our news and follow us on our blog, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.