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News from the American College of Surgeons

For Immediate Release


Dan Hamilton
Sally Garneski

American Joint Committee on Cancer announces new leaders for 2020

CHICAGO (December 17, 2019): The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) recently announced new leadership for the organization, including a new Chair and Vice-Chair. The AJCC also named a new Chair and Vice-Chair of its Editorial Committee and Implementation Committee.

During its October meeting, Robert K. Brookland, MD, FACR, FACRO, was elected AJCC Chair, and Jeffrey E. Gershenwald, MD, FACS, was elected AJCC Vice-Chair and Implementation Committee Chair. Mary Kay Washington, MD, PhD, was named Editorial Committee Chair, Mahul B. Amin, MD, FCAP, was named Editorial Committee Vice Chair, and Samantha Spencer, MD, was named Implementation Committee Vice-Chair.

In their roles as AJCC Chair and Vice-Chair, Dr. Brookland and Dr. Gershenwald sit on the AJCC Executive Committee, which sets the strategic direction and is the decision-making body of the organization. As Chair and Vice-Chair of the AJCC Editorial Committee, Dr. Washington and Dr. Amin are responsible for managing activities associated with the development and publication of the internationally renowned AJCC Cancer Staging System. As Chair and Vice-Chair of the AJCC Implementation Committee, Dr. Spencer and Dr. Gershenwald will help address key challenges in the production coordination and ability to access and implement the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual.

These physicians will work together to bolster the AJCC's efforts as the worldwide preeminent source of cancer staging standards. The AJCC leadership will soon begin working on the next edition of the AJCC Cancer Staging System. Experts from around the world and across the disciplines of oncology will soon be reviewing the literature and data to determine which cancers require an update to the Staging System.

"These physicians are assuming leadership positions with AJCC at an auspicious time because cancer science is quickly progressing. As nationally recognized experts in their fields, they have much to contribute to the clinical, research, surveillance, and patient advocate communities, and to the patients whom they serve," said Heidi Nelson, MD, FACS, Medical Director, ACS Cancer Programs.

About Robert K. Brookland, MD, FACR, FACRO

Dr. Brookland is chairman of the department of radiation oncology at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) and a staff radiation oncologist at Chesapeake Urology Prostate Center. He earned his medical degree at Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C.  Dr. Brookland completed his internship at Thomas Jefferson Hospital, Philadelphia, followed by a residency in medicine at Georgetown University Hospital and a residency in radiation therapy, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. His research interests are in the area of cancers of the breast, cervix, and kidney. Dr. Brookland has also served as chairman of professional education for the American Cancer Society and director of continuing medical education at GBMC.

About Jeffrey E. Gershenwald, MD, FACS

Dr. Gershenwald is a professor in the department of surgical oncology, division of surgery, and professor in the Department of Cancer Biology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston. Dr. Gershenwald earned his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College, New York City. He completed an internship and residency in general surgery at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, New York City, and a fellowship in surgical oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Gershenwald's research interests are in the areas of clinicopathological and molecular-based staging and prognostic assessment in melanoma and molecular mechanisms of melanoma progression.

About Mary Kay Washington, MD, PhD

Dr. Washington is a professor of pathology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn.  She earned a medical degree from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed a residency in clinical pathology at Duke University Medical Center. Her professional interests are in gastrointestinal and liver pathology.

About Mahul B. Amin, MD, FCAP

Dr. Amin is the professor and chairman, UTHSC Gerwin Chair for Cancer Research at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He earned a medical degree from G.S. Medical College and King Edward Memorial Hospital, Bombay, India. Dr. Amin is a national and international expert and consultant in tumors of the genitourinary tract including prostate, urinary bladder, kidney, and testis. His scientific interests are in the discovery and validation of biomarkers in urologic malignancies for clinical personalized medicine.

About Samantha Spencer, MD

Dr. Spencer is director, Structured Reporting, at the College of American Pathologists, Northfield, Ill.  She earned a medical degree at New Jersey Medical School, Newark, and completed a residency in emergency medicine and internal medicine at Christiana Care Health System, Newark.

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About the American Joint Committee on Cancer
The AJCC was established in 1959 to formulate and publish systems of classification of cancer, including staging and end-results reporting, that will be acceptable to and used by the medical profession for selecting the most effective treatment, determining prognosis, and continuing evaluation of cancer control measures. The AJCC is composed of 18 member organizations, and its activities are administered by the Chicago-based American College of Surgeons.

About the American College of Surgeons
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for all surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 82,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit