National Comprehensive Cancer Network

About NCCN

Andrew von Eschenbach Named to NCCN Foundation Board

NCCN welcomes Andrew von Eschenbach, MD, President of Samaritan Health Initiatives, former Commissioner of the FDA, and former Director of the National Cancer Institute, to the NCCN Foundation Board of Directors, chaired by ABC News veteran, Sam Donaldson.

FORT WASHINGTON, PA — The NCCN Foundation, which through private philanthropy and grants, advances the mission of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) to improve the quality and effectiveness of care for patients with cancer, welcomes Andrew von Eschenbach, MD, President of Samaritan Health Initiatives, Former Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration and Director of the National Cancer Institute, Former Director of the Prostate Cancer Research Program and Director of the Genitourinary Cancer Center at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, as the newest member to the Board of the NCCN Foundation.

I am very pleased that Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach has agreed to join the Board of the NCCN Foundation, commented Sam Donaldson, chair of the NCCN Foundation Board of Directors and ABC News veteran. His appointment brings a person of enormous stature and strategic leadership to help guide the work of the Foundation. In addition to his international reputation as a surgeon, Dr. von Eschenbach is the past Director of National Cancer Institute and former Commissioner of the FDA. Andy is also a cancer survivor. Consequently, helping cancer patients and reaching out to caregivers is personal for him. His experience and wisdom bridges the worlds of clinical research and patient care – which is in perfect alignment with the mission of the NCCN Foundation.

Dr. von Eschenbach currently serves as President of Samaritan Health Initiatives, a Consultant at the Center for Health Transformation and Adjunct Professor at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. From 2005 through 2009, he served as Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), where he set an ambitious goal of eliminating the suffering and death due to cancer by rapid acceleration and integration of the discovery-development-delivery continuum by the year 2015. Dr. von Eschenbach entered government service after an outstanding career over three decades as a physician, surgeon, oncologist, and executive, including numerous leadership roles from Chairman of the Department of Urologic Oncology to Executive Vice President and Chief Academic at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Dr. von Eschenbach is an internationally renowned cancer specialist and author of more than 300 scientific articles and studies. He was also named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people to shape the world, in both 2007 and 2008. He has been married to his wife, Madelyn, for more than 40 years, and they are proud parents of four children and grandparents of seven.

The NCCN Foundation was initiated in 2010, with a key goal in the first year of raising funds for the development and distribution of the NCCN Guidelines for Patients™. Seven of these guidelines for patients are now available with another nine planned for the coming year. The NCCN Guidelines for Patients™ use the same treatment algorithms that are the hallmark of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines™), but are translated into a more user-friendly format utilizing language for non-professional audiences.

About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 27 leading cancer centers, is dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients with cancer. Through the leadership and expertise of clinical professionals at NCCN Member Institutions, NCCN develops resources that present valuable information to the numerous stakeholders in the health care delivery system. As the arbiter of high-quality cancer care, NCCN promotes the importance of continuous quality improvement and recognizes the significance of creating clinical practice guidelines appropriate for use by patients, clinicians, and other health care decision-makers. The primary goal of all NCCN initiatives is to improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of oncology practice so patients can live better lives. For more information, visit

The NCCN Member Institutions are:

  • Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center
  • Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute
  • City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center | Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
  • Duke Cancer Institute
  • Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah
  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
  • The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
  • Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
  • Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Moffitt Cancer Center
  • The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute
  • Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine
  • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  • Stanford Cancer Institute
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center
  • UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • University of Colorado Cancer Center
  • University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center
  • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center
  • Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
  • Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital