Reports: Radiation oncologist a leading candidate to be FDA commissioner

Stephen M. Hahn, MD, chief of radiation oncology and chief medical executive at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, is being considered by the Trump administration to be the next commissioner of the FDA, according to numerous reports from outlets such as The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

Scott Gottlieb, MD, resigned from the position back in March, and Norman E. Sharpless, MD, has served as the FDA’s acting commissioner since that time. According to the same reports, Sharpless is seen as another leading candidate to be nominated for the position.

After news broke that Hahn may be up for this role, the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) issued a statement in support of his consideration.

“Steve Hahn is a remarkably talented physician and cancer specialist,” Paul Harari, MD, chair of the ASTRO Board of Directors, said in the statement. “He is trained in radiation oncology and medical oncology, and he has broad experience as a clinician, researcher, educator and administrative leader. He is exceptionally versatile in his understanding of medicine and public health and would bring enormous energy and creativity if nominated to the role of FDA commissioner.”

Harari also wrote that “a culture of safety is woven into the fabric of radiation oncology,” making Hahn “expertly suited” to serve in this role.