- Crystal S. Denlinger, MD, FACP, Named New CEO of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network; Robert W. Carlson, MD, retires after more than 10 years at the helm of a global nonprofit oncology organization
Dr. Denlinger is currently the Chief Scientific Officer of NCCN and was previously a chair and member of multiple NCCN guidelines panels, charged with maintaining gold-standard, evidence-based expert consensus cancer treatment recommendations.
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., Aug. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a nonprofit alliance of leading academic cancer centers, today announced Crystal S. Denlinger, MD , FACP, as the incoming CEO. Dr. Denlinger, who is currently NCCN's Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, is being promoted to lead the global guidelines organization following a national search to replace retiring CEO Robert W. Carlson, MD.
Dr. Denlinger has a long history of global leadership in cancer care with NCCN and beyond. She was named an NCCN Young Investigator Awardee in 2012 and received the NCCN Rodger Winn Award in 2018 for exemplifying leadership, drive, and service commitment to developing the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®). Prior to being named Chief Scientific Officer in January 2021, she was Chair of the NCCN® Guidelines Survivorship Panel (a position previously held by Dr. Carlson), as well as serving on the Occult Primary, Esophageal/Gastric, and Cervical Cancers Panel. bones, the Older Adult Oncology Panel, the JNCCN—Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Editorial Board, numerous abstract and scientific review committees, and participated in NCCN's work on NCCN Harmonized Guidelines™ for sub-Saharan Africa.
Since joining NCCN full-time, she has provided organizational guidance, spearheaded pilot programs for the Health Equity Report, overseen the facilitation of cancer research grants through NCCN's Oncology Research Program (ORP), and championed NCCN's outreach efforts to improve cancer care and policy globally. Dr. Denlinger has also overseen the NCCN Compendium of Drugs and Biologics (NCCN Compendium®), the NCCN® Compendium of Biomarkers, and the NCCN Chemotherapy Order Templates (NCCN Templates®) library.
"Dr. Denlinger is the perfect person to build on Dr. Carlson's impressive and long-standing work leading this world-class cancer organization," said John W. Sweetenham, MD, FRCP, FACP, FASCO, Professor of Medicine and Associate Director of Clinical Affairs of the Cancer Network at the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern; Chairman of the NCCN Board of Directors. "She has demonstrated a career-long commitment to improving the outcomes and experiences of all people with cancer. Dr. Denlinger is beloved throughout NCCN and the cancer community at large. Her tireless efforts and excellence in treating patients, advancing new research, building partnerships, and advocating for Capitol Hill will help NCCN continue to define and advance high-quality, high-value, patient-centered cancer care globally for years to come ".
Dr. Denlinger was previously Chief of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology; Associate Director, Early Drug Development Phase 1 Program; director of the Survival Program; and Associate Professor in the Department of Hematology/Oncology and continues on the Adjunct Faculty at Fox Chase Cancer Center, an NCCN Member Institution.
Dr. Denlinger graduated from a combined BS/MD program from The College of New Jersey and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, followed by an internal medicine residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center and a fellowship in hematology/oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center. /Temple University Hospital. She is the author of hundreds of clinical research articles and abstracts and the recipient of numerous awards from organizations including the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Foundation and the American College of Physicians.
As CEO, Dr. Denlinger will oversee a staff of more than 150 employees at NCCN's world headquarters, located outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Work includes maintaining the library of NCCN Guidelines, the recognized standard for clinical direction and policy in cancer treatment, and the most comprehensive and frequently updated clinical practice guidelines available in any area of medicine. She will also lead and oversee programs that promote global collaborations, new cancer research, peer-reviewed publications, patient information, and cancer policy.
"I've wanted to be a doctor since first grade and an oncologist since high school. I've experienced firsthand what it means to be there for a loved one as they deal with cancer, both early and late," explained Dr. Denlinger. "In my years of seeing patients, managing clinical trials, and helping update international evidence-based standards of care, I have seen tremendous progress in cancer therapy and outcomes. I look forward to continuing to serve wherever I can do the greatest good for the greatest number of people, which is why I am so honored and excited to accept the role of CEO of NCCN.I am grateful to Dr. Carlson, as well as the NCCN Board of Directors and all my colleagues, for this chance".
A legacy of improving and facilitating quality, effective, equitable and accessible cancer care
Dr. Carlson first announced his plans to retire in January 2023, 10 years after taking the helm at NCCN. At the time he took office, the NCCN maintained 58 NCCN® Guidelines and 11 NCCN Patient Guidelines®. Under Dr. Carlson's direction, the clinical information program expanded to 84 NCCN Guidelines, sharing the latest evidence and expert consensus to treat nearly all types of cancer, as well as the detection, prevention, and care of support. The NCCN Patient Guidelines library now contains 67 easy-to-read books to empower people with cancer and caregivers with the information they need to make informed treatment decisions.
The use of the NCCN Guidelines has also grown significantly over the past decade. The guidelines were downloaded 4.4 million times during 2012; that number increased to 13.3 million in 2022. These free resources are accessed by more than 1.7 million different registered users; nearly half are outside the United States.
Dr. Carlson grew NCCN's membership from 21 elite academic cancer institutions when he began, to 33 elite academic centers in the United States as of April 2023. The number of staff at NCCN World Headquarters has also doubled during his tenure. mandate.
"We will always be grateful for the passion and experience that Dr. Carlson brought to the role of CEO of NCCN, and the tremendous difference he has made in the lives of people with cancer and their loved ones everywhere over the course of his tenure. unparalleled career," said Dr. Sweetenham. "He combined an unwavering commitment to excellence with an equally unwavering commitment to kindness and compassion. This was particularly visible in his work partnering with local experts to make the NCCN Guidelines more accessible in countries and regions with varying levels of of resources. Dr. Carlson also personally spearheaded the successful 'Just Bag It' campaign to improve safe chemotherapy treatment. He has overseen NCCN's growing work to fight for equity in cancer care and the inclusion of respectful language and gender affirmation in the NCCN Guidelines. NCCN's recognition and influence in relation to global cancer care policies and policies also increased dramatically during her tenure."
"I am delighted to welcome Dr. Denlinger as NCCN's new CEO and look forward to seeing NCCN continue to build on our many long-standing successes in helping all people with cancer live better lives," said Dr. Carlson. "It has been a great honor to work with so many dedicated colleagues, patients and advocates to profoundly improve access to high-quality cancer care over the years."
Dr. Denlinger will assume the role of CEO of NCCN on October 9, 2023.
About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® ( NCCN®) is a nonprofit alliance of leading cancer centers dedicated to patient care, research, and education. NCCN is dedicated to improving and facilitating quality, effective, equitable and accessible cancer care so that all patients can live better lives. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) provide transparent, evidence-based, and expert-consensus recommendations for cancer treatment, prevention, and support services; They are the recognized standard for clinical direction and policy in cancer treatment and the most comprehensive and frequently updated clinical practice guidelines available in any area of medicine. The NCCN Guidelines for Patients® provide expert information on cancer treatment to inform and empower patients and caregivers, through the support of the NCCN® Foundation. NCCN also promotes continuing education, global initiatives, policy, and research collaboration and publishing in oncology. Visit NCCN.org for more information.
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