News Releases

American Cancer Society Expert Chosen for FDA Advisory Panel

Mark Stuart Clanton, MD, MPH, to Serve on Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 1, 2010 – Mark Stuart Clanton, MD, MPH, former deputy director of the National Cancer Institute and current chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society’s High Plains Division, has been appointed by the commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to serve as a voting member of the new Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee.

“Dr. Clanton’s knowledge of pediatrics, public health, and his leadership experience at the National Cancer Institute make him uniquely qualified to serve on this advisory committee,” said John R. Seffrin, PhD, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society and its advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). “His work is widely respected, and his experience will be a valuable asset as this committee begins its important work.”

The committee was formed by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which was signed into law in June 2009 and grants the FDA the authority to regulate the production, marketing, and sale of tobacco products. The 12-person committee, made up of nine voting members and three non-voting members will “review and evaluate the safety, dependence and health issues related to tobacco products and provide appropriate advice, information and recommendations” regarding tobacco products to the FDA commissioner. Members serve overlapping terms of up to four years on a volunteer basis. The committee is required to address important issues such as the use of menthol in tobacco products and the impact of dissolvable tobacco products early in its agenda.

“Dr. Clanton brings the unique perspective of the health needs of individuals, the public health at large, and a general understanding of biomedical research to this important position,” said Mike Dany, chief executive officer of the High Plains Division. “The non-profit community, as well as the cancer and public health communities, are very proud of Dr. Clanton's appointment to this committee."

As the former deputy director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health, he held the senior-most executive responsibilities for the NCI divisions and offices responsible for cancer prevention, cancer control, and health disparities research. During that time, he served as the U.S. representative to the International Agency for Cancer Research, a division of the World Health Organization. Dr. Clanton practiced medicine in Texas for more than a decade and previously served as the chief medical officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas. He served as an American Cancer Society volunteer leader for 20 years before becoming a staff member and was president-elect of the national American Cancer Society prior to accepting the NCI position.

“As a pediatrician, I am concerned that every day 3,500 children pick up their first cigarette and 1,000 children become addicted smokers,” said Dr. Mark Clanton. “Any changes in the makeup of tobacco, particularly those that make tobacco more appealing to children, can be reviewed by the tobacco products scientific advisory committee of the FDA. I am excited to be a member of the committee and to have this opportunity to review all future changes to tobacco products.”

Additionally, Jonathan M. Samet, MD, MS, voluntary co-chair of the American Cancer Society’s Cancer and the Environment Subcommittee, was also nominated. Dr. Samet currently serves as professor and Flora L. Thornton Chair in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

ACS CAN is the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate organization of the American Cancer Society, dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage lawmakers, candidates and government officials to support laws and policies that will make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer. For more information, visit

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, about 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit

Christina Saull
(202) 585-3250

Steven Weiss
(202) 661-5711


ACS CAN is the nation's leading cancer advocacy organization that is working every day to make cancer issues a national priority. More

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