ASCO Formalizes Free Membership for Physicians in Lower-Middle-Income Countries

Nov 28, 2022

Earlier this month, the ASCO Board of Directors took further action to support members in low-income and lower-middle-income countries. In alignment with ASCO’s strategic goal of making a global impact, the Board elected to expand free membership for physicians from lower-middle-income countries as defined by the World Bank.

Since 2016, physicians in low-income countries have received free membership courtesy of Dr. Debasish Roychowdhury through a generous donation to Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation, but zero-cost membership has now been formalized and extended to physicians in both low- and lower-middle income countries.

“ASCO’s goal is to enable all members of the global oncology community to participate in our community so they have access to the research, educational, and quality tools they need to deliver the best care possible no matter where they live and work,” said ASCO CEO Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, FASCO. “With this expansion of free membership, we will accelerate towards our vision of a world where cancer is prevented or cured and survivors—with or without cancer—are free from fear.”

At present, there are 54 lower-middle-income countries on the World Bank’s list, and physicians who are currently ASCO members in these countries will receive an email detailing how their membership will transition. Prospective members from these countries can join ASCO by completing a membership application. The World Bank updates its list of economies annually, and if any countries change from one category to another, ASCO’s membership team will adjust dues accordingly.

This expansion of member access adds to ASCO’s extensive existing support of oncology care team members in low-income and lower-middle-income countries going back more than a decade. This support has been through its Conquer Cancer grants and awards including:

  • Global Oncology Young Investigator Award (GO YIA) provides research funding to early-career investigators to encourage and promote quality research in global oncology and to develop the next generation of researchers to address global health needs.
  • International Development and Education Award (IDEA) provides support for early-career oncologists in low- and middle-income countries and facilitates the sharing of knowledge between these oncologists and members through mentorship.
  • International Innovation Grant (IIG) provides research funding in support of novel and innovative projects that can have a significant impact on cancer control in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Long-term International Fellowship (LIFe) provides early-career oncologists in low- and middle-income countries the support and resources needed to advance their training by deepening their relationship with a mentor at a host institution in the United States, Canada, or Europe.

ASCO also provides dedicated training for oncology professionals in low- and middle-income countries through a portfolio of international training courses and dedicated support for hospitals in these countries through its International Cancer Corps program.

Recently, the Society has increased its engagement in these countries. In June, ASCO and the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a collaboration to measure and improve the quality of cancer care internationally. The goal is to achieve health-related targets of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and WHO Global Action Plan on Non-Communicable Diseases and help cancer professionals provide the best possible care to their patients. Two months later, ASCO and the African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) signed a memorandum of understanding committing both organizations to collaborate to advance cancer research in Africa. The alliance is utilizing the programs, leaders, and member networks of both organizations to pursue a multilevel strategy comprising researcher training, mentorship, funding opportunities, and the presentation of research findings.

In the past two years ASCO also has established three regional councils to provide two-way communication, coordination, and connection with members across the world: Asia Pacific Regional Council, Latin America Regional Council, and Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Council. Council members serve as representatives for their respective countries, facilitate engagement in ASCO’s global programs, and work with Society leadership and staff to tailor ASCO programs to best support members in the region.

“The regional council members are the voices for their communities and help their colleagues get involved in ASCO’s global programs while aiding the Society in adapting ASCO programs to best support quality cancer care in the region,” said ASCO International Affairs Committee chair Verna Vanderpuye, MD. “It is only by working together that we can address disparities on cancer outcomes and strive to raise the quality of cancer care for every patient, everywhere.”

ASCO’s international efforts are led by the Society’s chief medical officer and executive vice president Julie R. Gralow, MD, FACP, FASCO, and vice president of International Affairs Doug Pyle, in concert with the Society’s International Affairs Committee and other volunteer leadership. With the expansion of access to membership, ASCO will further the impact of its many international programs and collaborations.

For any questions regarding membership, please contact ASCO Customer Service. For anyone who has been considering becoming an ASCO member, we encourage you to do so and join our community of nearly 45,000 oncology professionals, researchers, patient advocates, medical students, and many others.


Arif Akyildiz

Nov, 29 2022 12:06 PM

I want to be ASCO  Membership. I am studying at Hacettepe University Cancer Institute as felow.

Kindly regards.

Matthew Cowan

Dec, 07 2022 11:22 AM

Thanks for your interest. ASCO Membership is free for all trainees! Students, residents, & fellows, should submit a membership application online, here: You can reach out to with any questions. 

Ozturk Ates, MD

Nov, 29 2022 1:32 PM

I want to be ASCO membership. I am working Dr. Abdurrahman Yurtaslan Ankara Oncology hospital. 

Matthew Cowan

Dec, 05 2022 3:02 PM

Thank you for your interest Dr. Ates. I'll reach out about reinstating your membership. 

Shahana Pervin, FCPS, MBBS

Nov, 30 2022 9:23 PM


Hailemichael Desalegn Mekonnen

Dec, 01 2022 1:03 AM

I am Dr. Hailemichael Desalegn, MD and PhD and working as an Internist, Gastroenterologist. I am a public relations at Ethiopian Society of Internal Medicine in Ethiopia, a low income country. How can I make colleques, and Memhers join for free. How can my society work together with ASCO?

Matthew Cowan

Dec, 07 2022 11:23 AM

Thank you for your interest and for sharing with your colleagues. This is the link to the member application: The application will recognize the correct rate/ offer you the free membership. Please ensure your application is fully completed to receive the correct rate. We will reach out with information on international programs.

Dr Chinthamadaka Sai Sai Ram, MD, MBBS

Dec, 08 2022 3:41 AM

Dr Chinthamadaka Sai Ram thanks for free membership renewal and new membership for us from Low Income countries like India. I have been member for many years now with less membership fee and I think free membership would be beneficial for all of us low income countries. It will help cancer care enormously definitely 

Jyoti Bajpai, MD, MBBS, DM

Dec, 14 2022 5:47 AM

Dear Dr. Cowan,

I am from India (LMIC) and was a member before(id 88967)however, did not renew the membership. Now I wish to either re-new within a complementary scheme .Please suggest how to do it as I am not finding any option.Even if Iam trying to start afresh as a new application, then also it is not happening as I was a member and my mail was registered. Please help(my mail id is or have written to customer care /membership services as well , however not received a response so far.Tahnks and your help would be much appreciated.Regards, Jyoti Bajpai

Matthew Cowan

Dec, 19 2022 5:36 PM

Hello Dr. Bajpai, 

Thank you for your message & welcome back! The best thing for reinstating/ returning members is to email They can reinstate your membership and it is best to include your name, contact information & a copy of your CV/ Resume. I have taken care of your membership and you are reactivated. 

Please remember to visit to update all of your information & set your communication preferences. You can view a full list of member benefits online, here: .

Nikolay Zhukov, MD, PhD

Dec, 14 2022 6:27 AM

Hello, thank for the ASCO for this great news! Can I get instructions on the membership renewal process according new payment-free rules?

Chadi Saba, MD

Dec, 14 2022 11:43 AM

Thank you ASCO for this great initiative!

How are we supposed to benefit from it?

Do we need to send any documents?

Thabk you again and best wishes.

Albert Nwanne Nkwor

Dec, 22 2022 4:45 AM

Dr. Albert Nwanne Nkwor. Thanks so much for making lower middle income countries physicians membership of ASCO free, am a physician Cardiologist with European Society of Cardiology, preventive, rehabilitation, and sports Cardiology community, and a meember of Medscape medicals LLC, American College of Cardiology, Omron Academy Europe, American psychological Association. I desire to be a member of ASCO.

Matthew Cowan

Jan, 03 2023 3:16 PM

Hello Dr. Nwanne Nkwor,

Thank you for your interest in ASCO Membership! It looks like you started an application but did not complete it. The application can be submitted, here:

 Please ensure that you fill in the application completely to receive the correct rate.

Minura Abishova

Dec, 24 2022 3:51 PM

Hello! I'm a hematologist specialist and I'm from Azerbaijan. But now I'm in a Turkey, Ankara, Abdurrahman Yurtaslan Oncology Hospital for a year for practice. But I couldn't register free. Can you help me please?

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