ASCO Statement on the U.S. Presidential Executive Order on Entry Into the United States

Jan 30, 2017

As the world's leading organization of physicians and oncology professionals who care for people with cancer and conduct clinical cancer research, the American Society of Clinical Oncology is deeply concerned about the potential impact of the recent executive order on cancer research, patient care, and international scientific collaboration.

Our more than 40,000 members in 148 countries lead the charge to conquer cancer in all its forms and in every nation. Tens of thousands of people from more than 100 countries participate in our scientific meetings to exchange advances and ideas to improve patient care. Millions of cancer survivors are alive today because of the progress made possible by scientific collaboration. Progress against this disease will falter if the close-knit global community of cancer care providers is divided by policies that bar members of certain nationalities from entering the U.S. to conduct research, care for people with cancer, or participate in scientific and medical conferences.

ASCO’s first commitment is to our members and their patients. We are reaching out to the ASCO members who are affected by the executive order and will do all we can to support their participation in ASCO’s scientific meetings and other educational opportunities that help advance patient care around the world. ASCO members who are affected—whether they reside in the United States or internationally—can contact ASCO for more information or to share their stories at

ASCO calls on national leaders to eliminate unjustified barriers to scientific exchange and medical education. We are engaging with public officials to ensure that the impact of these policies is understood, and to sustain and accelerate advances in science and cancer patient care.


James M. Granfortuna, MD,FACP

Jan, 30 2017 5:05 PM

I fully support any ASCO initiative that preserves the rights of our International Colleagues living here and abroad

James Granfortuna MD FACP Associate Prof of Clinical Medicine, Hematology & Oncology, Cone Health, Greensboro, NC

Marc Lambrechts, MD

Jan, 30 2017 5:39 PM

From Belgium, Europe:
I understand the statement from ASCO and support it with all my heart.
1. We know what the restrictions are now, but not in a few months : USA policies are changing from day to day, hour to hour.
2. The president's view on Chicago : full of violence; he will "send the feds in"...
So there could be a lot of turmoil going on in the Windy City.

I think it would be wise for ASCO to send a much stronger public signal, to make it clear to the general public that these measures have much broader international implications than just the seven countries that are targeted today. They send the message that no traveler is safe from last minute changes in American policies.
Kind regards,
Marc (who will attend the meeting).

Michael Paul Alexander, MD

Jan, 30 2017 5:41 PM

Thank you for representing us all.

Michael Alexander MD, Medical Oncology Director Dominican Hospital Santa Cruz(CA). Clinical Assoc. Professor(emeritus), Oncology, Stanford University School of Medicine


Louis B. Balizet, MD

Jan, 30 2017 5:49 PM

Good start, but I agree with Marc: stronger statement needed. Enormously important issues, bigger even than cancer, at stake here.

George Morstyn, MD,PhD

Jan, 30 2017 5:50 PM

One aspect of the strength and creativity of the US in science has been its ability to attract the best and brightest from around the world and to give them opportunity. A global merit based approach has well served the US and the world battle against cancer. The opportunities to collaborate and communicate provided by ASCO   are unequalled. ASCO should do all it can to ensure its mission is not compromised.

Nha Ngoc Hoa Le, MD

Jan, 30 2017 5:53 PM

I fully supported ASCO's cause and initiatives. Fighting cancer doesn't include national borders, citizenships or races. It is a common battle of all globally.

Jessica Marie Seccombe Juttner, RN

Jan, 30 2017 6:01 PM

I am proud to be part of an organization that will stand up against the injustices that our president is proposing. I would love to see an action plan for ASCO and its members opposing this executive order.

David Hogg, MD

Jan, 30 2017 6:16 PM

As a Canadian oncologist, I find the decision to exclude people from the US on the basis of national origin and religion offensive and appalling. This action is unjustified, irrational, illegal, and shameful. I implore the ASCO executive—and all ASCO members—to protest Mr. Trump's actions in the strongest possible terms.

Samson Sau-Sing Fung, MD

Jan, 30 2017 6:35 PM

I fully support ASCO´s position although like my Belgian colleague I would wish the statements in defence of freedom would be much stronger.

Such kind of segregation on the basis of origin and religion is the beginning of the end of free scientific research which will inevitably harm our patients and our societies.

It is the end of a democratic and free society.

Thomas B. Tucker, MD

Jan, 30 2017 6:37 PM

Unless you fancy yourselves to be experts in international terrorism and national security, along with oncology, I recommend that you stay out of the issue.  Especially when using loaded words like "unjustified."

Nicholas D. James, PhD, MBBS, FRCP

Feb, 01 2017 12:45 AM

I'm also not an expert in international terrorism.  Worth noting that the British government said in the parliament today that the ban is a propaganda victory for ISIS and thus makes us all less safe. Presumably she has been briefed by experts. ASCO is an international organisation and as a member of >20 years standing I applaud the stand the organisation is taking. 

Rui Amaral Mendes, PhD,DMD

Jan, 30 2017 6:43 PM

I'm proud to be a member of a Society that upholds the values of Freedom, Tolerance and Human Dignity.

We deal with cancer and we fight to preserve life and mitigate suffering.

Thank you for taking the lead in this fight against the kind of "political and social cancer" that threatens to take over our societies.

Joerg Beyer, MD

Jan, 31 2017 6:01 AM

So glad that ASCO takes a clear position. We should support this with all our efforts. It's collaboration that brings us forward, not discrimination.

Ofelia A. Rodriguez Nievas, MD

Jan, 31 2017 7:20 AM

I celebrate this initial action ASCO is taking on behalf of all its members, independently of nationality and country of residence. I'm proud of being member of a community defending rights of freedom for everyone, patients and colleagues who are permanently fighting agains cancer worldwide. Thanks ASCO..!

                                                                                                                                                               Ofelia Rodriguez Nievas, MD - Buenos Aires - Argentina

Jean Latreille, MD

Feb, 01 2017 6:30 PM

Very proud to be a member of a society that dares to stand up to defend liberty, human dignity. That you are able to differentiate actions to prevent terrorism from those that affect our rights and those of others is to be recognized.

Ahmed Abdo Abdel-Maksoud, MD

Jan, 31 2017 9:43 AM

Many thanks to ASCO 

We have excluded these countries because of terrorism we have created ourselves

We have killed millions of Iraqis by direct wars and sanctions and as it turned out Iraq never had nuclear plants

We urge Mr. Trump to avoid the same mistake we did to the Japanese Americans many years ago

if we do not stand to the injustice, different nationalities will be next on the list

John Bechtel, MD

Jan, 31 2017 10:58 AM

All you have to do is read these comments to see how this is a POLITICALLY charged issue.  I did not vote for Mr. Trump, nor do I care for him, but he ran on a platform of securing US borders and won the election.  He is acting on his promise.  This is an issue about terrorism and I am no expert on terrorism or its effects and I don't think ASCO is either.  Yes, let's support our colleagues getting to meetings, but no, let's not get political and start judging what the American people voted for.  What's next, judging a patient wearing a Trump hat?  This is DANGEROUS territory.  Even the appearance of ASCO taking political sides could undermine the patient-physician relationship for all of us.

Ask yourself, what if Fox News decided to run a piece calling ASCO "anti-Trump" because of inflammatory words like "unjustified" in ASCOs wording.  How would that make our patients from the half of our country that supported Trump feel?

Laura Stampleman, MD

Jan, 31 2017 3:25 PM

One could argue strongly as many national security experts have done that Mr. Trump's efforts to secure the border in this fashion are not making us safer but are likely intensifying the anti-American sentiment among certain populations.  It is much more DANGEROUS for us to ignore the perils both to our oncology community of patients and physicians, scientists as well as the general public.

John Bechtel, MD

Jan, 31 2017 4:21 PM

I am completely for ASCO offering help to our colleagues and patients.  I am not for ASCO taking political sides and calling Mr. Trump's order unjustified.  9/11 alone is plenty of justification for some.  Some of us practice in the midwest in heavily pro-Trump areas and we have to go to work and treat a majority of patients that are pro-Trump.  The last thing we need is our medical society creating tensions for us or undermining a patient's confidence in whether we are going to take good care of them just because they have that Trump hat on.

Thomas B. Tucker, MD

Jan, 31 2017 5:05 PM

That's partly the point.  If experts in national security cannot agree, then we, who are only experts in oncology, should not be taking up the issue.

Marc Lambrechts, MD

Feb, 07 2017 8:03 AM

But there is one point that still can be made, even if you are against meddling into politics: since the US government is changing policies abruptly, without warning, no traveler can safely say that he/she can enter the US even with valid visa/ESTA,... This is influencing decisions of ALL travelers from outside the US: it is a Muslim ban now, but nobody can predict what the next day will bring. This brings potentially major damage to the international community of oncology.

Sudhir S. Sekhon, MD

Jan, 31 2017 2:11 PM

Kudos to ASCO for taking a stand on this.  If we are going to continue our fight against cancer we need to also fight the rising forces of anti intellectualism and isolationism in USA.  Horrifying to note that many of our leaders openly challenge scientific consensus on evolution, climate change and homosexuality even in this day and age.  How are we going to raise the next generation of Cancer researchers and clinicians in this environment.  We are first and foremost scientists and any forces that oppose growth of Scientific thinking are just as malignant as our common enemy.

Norbert Frickhofen

Jan, 31 2017 3:19 PM

Don´t hesitate to issue a stronger statement. You can and you should! Cancer research needs international collaboration. ASCO should not tolerate exclusion for nationality or religious believes.

Lucio Di Nunno, MD

Jan, 31 2017 4:41 PM

He who forgets history is condemned to repeat the same errors (or horrors) all over again. Germany, January the 30th, 1933.

Atif J. Khan, MD

Jan, 31 2017 10:10 PM

I applaud ASCO for taking a clear stand on this.  There no time for prevarification, excuse-making, and ambiguity.  The majority of the voting electorate in America voted AGAINST the stated agenda and vision of this regime and will resist it now.  Those resisting are on the right side of history.  This battle has been fought and won before (Civil Rights), and we will fight and win it again.  THis has NOTHING to do with the quality of care we will provide to patients irrespective of their political or other beliefs.

Pierce K. H. Chow, MD, PhD

Feb, 01 2017 8:34 AM

I fully support the ASCO stance and statement. Cancer has no borders

Antonella Surbone, MD, PhD, FACP

Feb, 01 2017 12:15 PM

As a former Member of ASCO Ethics Committee and CEC Ethics Track Leader, I was always extremely proud to work for ASCO's high ethical standards. ASCO's commitment to global oncology adds to our society's strength by fostering a non discriminatory practice of oncology in which all cancer patients, regardless of race, ethnicity, culture and socio-economic status, have equal access to, and outcomes from, standard cancer care, clinical research and survivorship as well as palliative and end-of-life care. To reach these goals, we rely on free exchange of research ideas and educational models among equally trusted colleagues from all over the world.

We cannot accept any limitation to our values and mission to be imposed by unethical restrictions. I thank ASCO for issuing the January 30th statement and trust that it will be follow by continued and stronger positions against this and potential future violations of our democratic principles.


William Thomas Stephenson, MD

Feb, 01 2017 2:11 PM

While I am no supporter of Mr. Trump, and agree with the sentiments expressed, I share the opinion of those wishing to avoid direct political confrontation.  We would better serve the oncology community by showing how the travel ban impacts cancer care.  For example, we could:

1) Accumulate data demonstrating if any or how many patients traveling to the US had major harm or death caused by the Presidential Executive Order.

2) Collect data showing how many researchers are impacted, what clinical trials are affected, and how this impacts on new therapy development


Keeping to our primary mission will both be more effective by showing how real lives are impacted and keep us out of politial hot water.  

Yasaman Ayoughi

Feb, 02 2017 12:31 PM

Thanks for this statement. I am from Iran. And I was planning to participate in annual meeting because I have sent my abstract and I wish I could share the results of my research to the other scientists and I could learn from them and all of us could introduce new ways for diagnosis and therapies for cancer. And make the world better place for living. We love American people we love all people in the world. The science doesn’t know any borders.I wish this barrier break.

Gottfried E. Konecny, MD

Feb, 02 2017 10:39 PM

The current times demand that we express our opinions: Banning the entry of visa holders from other countries, appealing the ACA without having the faintest idea of a replacement, alienating numerous international partners, putting American men and women that serve overseas at increased risk, etc., goes far beyond a normal transition of power. Indeed, these are exceptional times, which demand that we voice our concern or disagreement. Many of these recent developments will isolate the US from the world, damage its reputation and limit international collaborations in many levels. Importantly, many supporters of the current president do not have the insights or education to understand how intricately the world is connected and how damaging these actions can be. In contrast, ASCO members do or should have the insights and knowledge that we all depend on each other in a modern world, and that we need to treat other nations and their leaders with respect and dignity. They should voice their opinion! I congratulate ASCO as the world's leading organization of physicians and oncology professionals on their Statement on the U.S. Presidential Executive Order on Entry into the United States.

Vikramjit Kanwar

Feb, 03 2017 6:11 PM

I applaud ASCO for taking a strong ethical stand on this issue and encouraging free communication and travel for our colleagues in oncology across the globe. I was on a J-1 visa for several years and I know the fear that confronts the perfectly innocent foreign traveler being "screened" by INS, the fact that I have been a US citizen for over 15 years does not diminish those memories.I have read the comments by individuals who would have ASCO stay on the sidelines because this is a "political" issue, and while I respect opposing points of view I will simply pose the questions "If not us, who? If not now, when?"   I work in Upstate NY which is Trump country, and serve all of my patients happily regardless of political orientation, so let's dispose of that straw man. There was no deep security-based logic behind this order, simply a desire to make a political statement, which impacted multiple innocent individuals.

Vikramjit S Kanwar MBA, MRCP, FAAP

Division Chief and Professor Pediatric Hematology-Oncology

Albany, NY


Kavi D. Capildeo, DM, FRCP, MBBS, MRCP

Feb, 05 2017 7:34 PM

I would be disinclined to attend ASCO meetings in the near future due to political instability and rising xenophobia in the host country.

Marc Lambrechts, MD

Feb, 07 2017 8:18 AM

I sure hope/wish you (and everyone) will attend, and that we do not give in to fear.

Ashley E. Alarcon-Rozas, MD, MBA

Feb, 07 2017 10:02 AM

AS all my collegues from different parts of the world, i share the same thinking, i suggest ASCO authorities send a letter to the President of USA in order to solve this problem that affect all the scientist in the world

Cesar Gonzalez De Leon, MD

Feb, 07 2017 4:32 PM

As a mexican member 20 yrs + , I am grateful that ASCO has taken a big step forward towards repealing discrimination based on religion or ethnicity. It reassures me that  ASCO is a truly global organization  and makes me proud of being part of its membership. I am sure many members are unplanning on attending ASCO but with this and other necessary steps , we should reconsider to not only attend but enhance our participation with all our oncology colleagues in America  ( United States included )

Bibek Acharya, MBBS, MD

Feb, 11 2017 7:14 AM

I do fully support the statement from ASCO. 

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