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American Cancer Society Names Dr. William Cance Chief Medical and Scientific Officer

New Position Will Lead Integration of ACS’ Research and Cancer Control Program to Aggressively Pursue 2035 Challenge Goal to Reduce Cancer Mortality by 40 Percent

William G. Cance, M.D., has been selected as the American Cancer Society’s chief medical and scientific officer. Dr. Cance will lead the integration of ACS’ Research and Cancer Control departments, unifying its intramural and extramural research; prevention and early detection; patient and caregiver support and service strategies; global cancer control; and health systems engagement programs.

“Dr. Cance brings to the American Cancer Society impressive breadth and depth of experience as an executive leader, practicing surgical oncologist, researcher, and entrepreneur,” said Gary Reedy, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society. “His work will be critical as we aggressively pursue our 2035 challenge goal to reduce cancer mortality by 40 percent.”

“There are so many reasons why I chose the American Cancer Society,” said Dr. William G. Cance, incoming chief medical and scientific officer. “The history, the research teams, the mission, the volunteers and the visionary leadership are a great fit. I'm honored and excited for the opportunity. The ACS name has been synonymous with progress and hope. My goal is to more rapidly implement the emerging advances in cancer prevention and treatment to patient care and to help this historic organization achieve its mission to further reduce the burden of cancer nationwide and globally.”

Since 2016, Dr. Cance has served as deputy director and, more recently, interim director of the University of Arizona Comprehensive Cancer Center. He was regarded there as a leader who established a culture of collaboration that advanced cancer care and treatment. He has also been a professor in the Departments of Interdisciplinary Oncology, Pharmacology & Toxicology, and Surgery for the UA Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy in Phoenix.

Dr. Cance has an active surgical oncology practice, and he is the principal investigator for a 25-year National Cancer Institute grant focused on focal adhesion kinase, a protein involved in cancer metastasis. He has also been an American Cancer Society grantee, holds eight patents, and has been involved in several entrepreneurial projects to bring his research advancements to market.

Prior to joining the University of Arizona, Dr. Cance held leadership positions at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the University of Florida, and the University of North Carolina. He earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from Duke University, and completed his residency in general surgery at Barnes Hospital/Washington University School of Medicine and a fellowship in surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Dr. Cance will begin his new position on October 21. He and his wife Jenn will relocate to Atlanta this fall.

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