This Cancer Screening Guideline Development Group (GDG) was appointed by the American Cancer Society (ACS) Board of Directors to create all ACS cancer screening guidelines. The ACS GDG consists of 10 clinicians and population health care professionals as well as 1 patient advocate.
The group’s task is to supervise the review of evidence and transform the evidence into written guidelines. While they consider content-specific input and the opinions of expert clinical specialists, their focus on evidence avoids professional conflicts of interest.
Primary Care Physician, Health Services
Dr. Andrew Wolf is a general internist who's been involved with American Cancer Society (ACS) Guideline Development Group (GDG) since 2001. He chaired the ACS Prostate Cancer Advisory Committee that developed the 2010 prostate cancer screening guideline, as well as the GDG for the colorectal cancer screening guideline update in 2018.
His areas of expertise are cancer screening and medical education. His particular research interest is enhancing patient involvement in cancer screening decisions.
Dr. Wolf has won 16 teaching awards, including the UVA School of Medicine Master Educator Award and has achieved the “Best Doctors in America” distinction for 4 of the past 8 years.
He earned his BA (magna cum laude) from Harvard College and MD from UVA (Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society). He completed his internal medicine residency at Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital.
Primary Care, Cancer Screening in Childhood Cancer Survivors
Dr. Kevin Oeffinger is a family physician and the past chair of the ACS GDG. He chaired the GDG workgroup that developed the 2015 breast cancer screening guideline update.
He has a long-standing track record of NIH-supported research in cancer screening and survivorship and has served in a leadership capacity in various cancer- and primary care-focused national committees and organizations, including the ACS, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
In addition to his work with the ACS GDG, Dr. Timothy R. Church sits on several national and international advisory boards, including the National Lung Screening Trial Executive Committee and the PROSPR Consulting Committee. He chairs 2 Data and Safety Monitoring Boards (DSMB) and is a member of many other DSMBs, including for the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the medical device industry.
He sat on a University of Minnesota Institutional Research Board for 10 years and is a consultant to several large national and international projects addressing chronic disease screening and prevention.
Dr. Church serves as a reviewer for the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the Minnesota Department of Health.
He conducts very large studies of disease prevention and etiology including: the Minnesota Colon Cancer Control Study, the National Colonoscopy Screening Trial, the Lung Screening Study, the National Lung Screening Trial, the Minnesota-Wisconsin Men’s Health Study, the Colon Cancer Family Registry, and the Prostate, Lung, Colon, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial.
Additionally, he conducted numerous studies on HIV/AIDS, cardiac arrhythmias, and occupational violence and injury. At Medtronic, Inc, he conducted over 50 clinical trials of pacemaker and defibrillator systems.
Dr. Church serves on the editorial board of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and is a reviewer for numerous high-profile medical, statistical, and scientific journals. He has published over 130 research studies on varied topics such as: cancer screening, risk stratification, statistical models of biological processes and diagnosis, clinical trial and epidemiologic methodology, using biomarkers of carcinogen exposure to determine the risk of developing lung and other cancers, and validation of epigenetic biomarkers for early detection.
Researcher in Health Policy & Decision Sciences
In addition to serving on the ACS GDG, Dr. Elena Elkin is a member of the Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC).
She leads Comparative Effectiveness and Outcomes Research at Columbia University. She also investigates the cost and cost-effectiveness of clinical, behavioral, and educational interventions for cancer patients and survivors in numerous NCI-funded trials.
Dr. Elkin studies determinants of cancer screening, treatment, and outcomes using population-based observational data analysis, decision analysis, and surveys. Much of her research has addressed screening mammography, including studies of geographic access to mammography and including the development and evaluation of a web-based tool to help women in their 40s decide when to start, and how often to have, screening mammograms.
Previously, Dr. Elkin was a faculty member in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and in the Department of Healthcare Policy and Research at Weill Cornell Medical College. From 2016 to 2017, she served as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow, working in the office of US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI).
Dr. Elkin received her PhD in Health Policy, with a concentration in Decision Sciences, from Harvard University. She has a MPA in Health Policy and Management from New York University, and a BS in Communications from Cornell University.
In addition to serving on the ACS GDG, Dr. Ruth Etzioni serves on 3 national panels on prostate cancer early detection. Her work on prostate cancer modeling is done as part of the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET) consortium, for which she serves on the steering committee. She's also the Principal Investigator on the Prostate Cancer Coordinating Center.
Dr. Etzioni focuses on statistical and computer modeling for policy development. A critical component of this work is the estimation of disease natural history and progression, which then forms a substrate for modeling comparative- and cost-effectiveness of alternative interventions.
Her models of disease have been used to estimate the lifetime probabilities of developing prostate cancer and to estimate outcomes, to estimate the extent of associated overdiagnosis of prostate cancer, and to quantify the roles of screening and changes in receipt of initial therapies in mortality declines.
Dr. Elizabeth (Terry) Fontham’s area of expertise is cancer epidemiology, with a particular interest in tobacco- and nutrition-related cancers and in gastric cancer premalignant lesions. Her current research includes innovative approaches to cervical cancer screening in hard-to-reach women, as well as long-term health effects related to exposure to the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill.
She is the author of more than 170 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, book chapters, and monographs.
For her outstanding work in the field of lung cancer epidemiology, and specifically for relating smoking and health, Dr. Fontham received the Alton Ochsner Award from the American College of Chest Physicians and the Ochsner Clinic. She's received funding grants from the National Cancer Institute and the US Department of Defense.
She earned her BA from the Louisiana State University in Chemistry and MPH and DrPH in Epidemiology from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
Primary Care Physician, Health Equity and Cancer Control Researcher
In addition to her participation with the ACS GDG, Dr. Carmen Guerra is a current member of the National Board of Directors for the ACS. She also co-chairs the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee for the ACS.
At the Abramson Cancer Center, Dr. Guerra founded and currently co-directs 2 patient navigation programs focused on the underserved populations of Philadelphia. These programs have increased access to cancer screenings.
She is the recipient of several NIH and ACS grants that have supported her research to better understand and overcome barriers to cancer screening. She is also the recipient of the Amos Medical Faculty Development Program fellowship from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Dr. Guerra is board-certified internist and a fellow of the American College of Physicians. She completed her MD at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and her internship and residency in internal medicine at Strong Memorial Hospital. She completed a MS in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Primary Care Physician, Health Services, Epidemiology
Dr. Hoffman is a general internist whose research has focused on various aspects of cancer screening, including practice patterns, diagnostic test performance, and epidemiologic and quality-of-life outcomes. He is particularly interested in evaluating and supporting shared decision making for cancer screening.
He has authored more than 200 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, book chapters, and monographs. Dr. Hoffman has received grant funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Veterans Health Administration.
He completed an ambulatory care fellowship at the Seattle VA Medical Center and an Internal Medicine Residency at the Oregon Health Sciences University. He received his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and an MPH in epidemiology from the University of Washington.
Primary Care Physician, Research in Cervical Cancer Control & Prevention
Dr. Rebecca Perkins has dedicated her career to reducing health disparities in cervical cancer. Her current research focuses on improving utilization of the HPV vaccination and of the cervical cancer screening guidelines.
In addition to her participation with the ACS GSG, Dr. Perkins currently co-chairs the ACS National HPV Vaccination Roundtable. She’s also co-chairing the Enduring Consensus Cervical Cancer Screening and Management Guidelines.
She's currently working on national projects related to HPV vaccination and cervical cancer prevention with the ACS, Centers for Disease Control, Health Resources and Services Administration, NCI, and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Plus, Dr. Perkins works with the NCI on a multi-country project related to cervical cancer prevention in resource-limited settings.
She was co-chair and one of the lead authors of the 2019 American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology’s Risk-Based Management Consensus Guidelines, and she co-chaired the President’s Cancer Panel Cervical Cancer Subcommittee.
Dr. Ya-Chen Tina Shih’s current research includes studying the impact of technology diffusion in the costs and outcomes of cancer, evaluating the cost-effectiveness of various policy, behavioral, and medical interventions for cancer, and exploring methodological issues in health services research.
She is an Associate Editor for JNCI and is on the editorial board of PharmacoEconomic, Value in Health, and JCO Oncology Practice. In addition, she had served as a forum member on the National Cancer Policy Forum at the National Academies of Medicine.
Dr. Shih is a widely published author of more than 250 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has co-authored 7 book chapters.
She received the E. Lee Walker Imagination Award from the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the 2019 Texas Business Women’s Award at UT MDACC, the 2005 Medstate MarketScan Award, and the 1999 J. Warren Perry Distinguished Author Award.
In addition to awards, Dr. Shih received funding grants from the NCI and the National Human Genome Research Institute at the NIH, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the American Cancer Society, the Alliance Foundation, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange.
Prior to joining MD Anderson, she was at Department of Medicine, University of Chicago. While there, she was also the Director of the Program in the Economics of Cancer, Affiliated Faculty at the Center for Health and the Social Sciences, and Member of the Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dr. Shih earned her BA from the National Taiwan University, MA from the National Tsing-Hua University in Taiwan, and PhD from the Department of Economics, Stanford University.
Health Services, Geriatrics
Dr. Louise Walter is a geriatrician whose research interests focus on prognostication and cancer screening in older persons. She has a particular interest in studying the importance of life expectancy, rather than age, in determining real-world risks and benefits of cancer screening in older adults. Her current research is focused on the juxtaposition of lag-time-to-benefit of preventive services and life expectancy to help individualize screening decisions.
For her research accomplishments, she was elected into the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2012.
Dr. Walter has more than 120 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has co-authored several book chapters focused on preventive services for older adults.
She completed a geriatrics fellowship an internal medicine residency at UCSF. She completed medical school and her undergraduate work at Stanford University.
Cancer Epidemiologist, Disparities and Risk Factors Research
Dr. Charnita Zeigler-Johnson's research focuses on defining cancer risk factors and better understanding racial and socioeconomic disparities in the United States and international settings. Her specific interests include obesity, genetic pathways, inflammation markers, clinical characteristics, neighborhood factors, and gene-environment interactions.
Currently, she is principal investigator of a multi-institutional, mixed-methods study focused on examining the relationship between neighborhood-level structural racism and prostate cancer outcomes. She has served as co-investigator of a project to examine multi-level factors associated with lung cancer screening adherence.
Dr. Zeigler-Johnson is a member of the leadership team for the African-Caribbean Cancer Consortium (AC3) and an active member of the Pennsylvania Cancer Coalition.
Dr. Abbe Herzig is a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) consultant, providing data interpretation and communication expertise for expert and non-expert audiences, as well as action planning for DEI issues in education and research.
Through her consulting, grants, academic research, and other professional experience, Dr. Herzig has served as a resource to researchers, policy analysts, writers and editors, and consumer advocates in the interpretation and communication of data and information.
Previously, she was the Director of Education for the Division of Government Relations at the American Mathematical Society (AMS). In prior roles, she served as a staff consultant at Treo Solutions, a healthcare analytics company in Troy, NY.
Dr. Herzig worked as a statistician for Consumer Reports for almost 30 years, the last 5 of which were in the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center.
While a faculty member in the Education Schools of Rutgers University and at the University at Albany, her research agenda emphasized equity, diversity, and social justice in mathematics education. She has taught graduate courses on research methodology and in pedagogy for teachers of K-12 mathematics, as well as mathematics and statistics at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels.
In addition to her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Herzig has graduate degrees in both statistics and mathematics.