Research Summary

Within my department, I am the vice chair of strategic advisory and hold the Jacobs Distinguished Professorship in Head and Neck Cancer Radiation Oncology. I am a full-time practicing clinician and my research draws from what I learn from my patients. My primary interests include head and neck, thoracic, and cutaneous malignancies, where I have developed and led multiple clinical trials, both within UCSF and across sites nationwide and overseas. I am interested in the development and evaluation of new therapeutic techniques, which to me include novel molecular targeted agents and immunotherapies as well as state-of-the-art technical advances in radiation therapy. I have special interests in virally driven malignancies associated with humanpapillomavirus (HPV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV). My research has entailed collaborating with laboratory-based investigators to identify patient, tumor, and technical characteristics that influence prognosis and response to specific therapies, including tissue-, blood-, and imaging-based biomarkers. I have also conducted clinical trials focused on symptom management, radioprotectants, and supporting patients' quality of life and decision making.

University responsibilities include co-leading the site committee for clinical trial development in head and neck cancers at the UCSF HDFCCC and serving as the principal investigator for NRG Oncology cooperative group activities at UCSF. I previously served on the Cancer Committee which maintains our accreditation through the American College of Surgeons. Nationally, I am the Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics, Chair of the NRG Oncology Head and Neck Cancer Committee, and a Board Member and the Guidelines and Protocols Committee Co-Chair for the Head and Neck Cancer International Group. I am a member of the NCCN Head and Neck Cancers guidelines committee as well as the Head and Neck Cancer Resource Panel, Education and Science Education Committees, and Education Committee of the Health Equity Diversity Inclusion Education Council of the American Society of Radiation Oncology. I was previously co-chair of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) steering committee for head and neck cancers, president of the American Radium Society (ARS), chair of the scientific program and nominating committees of ARS, chair of the Appropriateness Committee guidelines for radiation oncology at the American College of Radiology, and member of the NCI's Head and Neck Recurrent/Metastatic Disease Task Force. I have been on the scientific program committees of the American Society for Radiation Oncology, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, and the American Head and Neck Society, among others. I am a national boards examiner for the American Board of Radiology. I have contributed to about 250 publications in the medical literature.


2002, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, M.D., Ph.D., Medicine/English
2003, U. T. – M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Internship, Medicine/Surgery
2007, U. T. – M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Residency, Radiation Oncology

Honors & Awards

  • 1992
    Mellon Fellow in the Humanities, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  • 1995
    Benjamin Franklin Medical Scholar Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2004
    Thomas Barkley Award, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
  • 2004
    Clinical Biostatistics and Trial Design Workshop, Cancer Education Consortium
  • 2005
    Fellowship, Korean American Society for Therapeutic Radiology & Oncology
  • 2006
    Jesse H. Jones Fellowship in Cancer Education, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
  • 2006
    Outstanding Resident Presentation Award, Texas Radiological Society
  • 2006
    A. Lavoy Moore Endowment Fund, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
  • 2006
    Eleanor Montague Distinguished Resident Award, American Association of Women Radiologists
  • 2007
    Vail Workshop on Methods in Clinical Cancer Research, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)/American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
  • 2008
    Joan F. Giambalvo Memorial Scholarship, AMA Women Physicians Congress
  • 2009
    Best Doctors in America, 2009-2014
  • 2011
    Educator of the Year Award, Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology
  • 2019
    Duke TIP Distinguished Alumni Award, Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP)
  • 2019
    Exceptional Mentor Award, American Medical Women's Association (AMWA)
  • 2019
    Steven A. Leibel Memorial Award, American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) and American Board of Radiology (ABR) Foundation
  • 2020
    Fellow of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (FASTRO), American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)

Selected Publications

  1. Plonowska-Hirschfeld KA, Gulati A, Stephens EM, Ochoa E, Xu MJ, Ha PK, Heaton CM, Yom SS, Chan JW, Algazi A, Kang H, Ryan WR. Treatment Modality Impact on Patient-Reported Quality of Life in Human Papilloma Virus-Associated Oropharyngeal Carcinoma. Laryngoscope. 2023 Sep 28.  View on PubMed
  2. Yom SS. High-Quality Science and the People Who Make It: Red Journal Outstanding Reviewers of 2022. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2023 Nov 01; 117(3):532.  View on PubMed
  3. Yom SS. The Top 20 Cited and Downloaded Red Journal Articles of 2022. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2023 Nov 01; 117(3):529-531.  View on PubMed
  4. Keenan BP, Sibley A, Zhang L, Westring AF, Velazquez AI, Bank EM, Bergsland EK, Boreta L, Conroy P, Daras M, Hermiston M, Hsu G, Paris PL, Piawah S, Sinha S, Sosa JA, Tsang M, Venook AP, Wong M, Yom SS, Van Loon K. Evaluation of Culture Conducive to Academic Success by Gender at a Comprehensive Cancer Center. Oncologist. 2023 Jul 13.  View on PubMed
  5. Graboyes EM, Yom SS. Treatment Delays in Oral Cavity Cancer-Time, Time, Time, See What's Become of Me. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2023 Jul 09.  View on PubMed
  6. Iheagwara UK, Patel S, Diaz DA, Yom SS, Goodman KA, Barry PN. Promoting Women and Historically Excluded Minorities in Medicine as Essential Leaders of Research. Adv Radiat Oncol. 2023 Nov-Dec; 8(6):101301.  View on PubMed
  7. Mayo CS, Feng MU, Brock KK, Kudner R, Balter P, Buchsbaum JC, Caissie A, Covington E, Daugherty EC, Dekker AL, Fuller CD, Hallstrom AL, Hong DS, Hong JC, Kamran SC, Katsoulakis E, Kildea J, Krauze AV, Kruse JJ, McNutt T, Mierzwa M, Moreno A, Palta JR, Popple R, Purdie TG, Richardson S, Sharp GC, Shiraishi S, Tarbox L, Venkatesan AM, Witztum A, Woods KE, Yao J, Farahani K, Aneja S, Gabriel PE, Hadjiiski L, Ruan D, Siewerdsen JH, Bratt S, Casagni M, Chen S, Christodouleas J, DiDonato A, Hayman J, Kapoor R, Kravitz S, Sebastian S, Von Siebenthal M, Xiao Y. Operational Ontology for Oncology (O3) - A Professional Society Based, Multi-Stakeholder, Consensus Driven Informatics Standard Supporting Clinical and Research use of "Real -World" Data from Patients Treated for Cancer: Operational Ontology for Radiation Oncology. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2023 May 25.  View on PubMed
  8. Gulati A, Plonowska-Hirschfeld K, Stephens EM, Kansara S, Zebolsky AL, Ochoa E, Xu MJ, Ha PK, Heaton CM, Yom SS, Chan JW, Algazi AP, Kang H, Ryan WR. A prospective evaluation of neck and shoulder function following treatments of early-stage human papillomavirus-associated oropharynx cancer. Clin Otolaryngol. 2023 Sep; 48(5):756-765.  View on PubMed
  9. Garden AS, Harris J, Eisbruch A, Chao KSC, Morrison WH, Harari PM, Swanson TA, Jones CU, Yom SS, Spencer SA, Scrimger R, Shenouda G, Shukla M, Lau HY, Mierzwa M, Torres-Saavedra P, Le QT. Final Report of NRG Oncology RTOG 0022: A Phase I/II Study of Conformal and Intensity. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2023 Mar 14.  View on PubMed
  10. Sherman EJ, Harris J, Bible KC, Xia P, Ghossein RA, Chung CH, Riaz N, Gunn GB, Foote RL, Yom SS, Wong SJ, Koyfman SA, Dzeda MF, Clump DA, Khan SA, Shah MH, Redmond K, Torres-Saavedra PA, Le QT, Lee NY. Radiotherapy and paclitaxel plus pazopanib or placebo in anaplastic thyroid cancer (NRG/RTOG 0912): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre, phase 2 trial. Lancet Oncol. 2023 02; 24(2):175-186.  View on PubMed
  11. Rodriguez CP, Kang H, Geiger JL, Burtness B, Chung CH, Pickering CR, Fakhry C, Le QT, Yom SS, Galloway TJ, Golemis E, Li A, Shoop J, Wong S, Mehra R, Skinner H, Saba NF, Flores ER, Myers JN, Ford JM, Karchin R, Ferris RL, Kunos C, Lynn JM, Malik S. Clinical Trial Development in TP53-Mutated Locally Advanced and Recurrent and/or Metastatic Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2022 12 08; 114(12):1619-1627.  View on PubMed
  12. Yom SS. Tinkering With the Fit. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2022 Dec 01; 114(5):821.  View on PubMed
  13. Jabbour SK, Yom SS. The Oligometastatic State: Balancing Between Cure and Palliation. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2022 11 15; 114(4):559-560.  View on PubMed
  14. Subramaniam RM, DeMora L, Yao M, Yom SS, Gillison M, Caudell JJ, Waldron J, Xia P, Chung CH, Truong MT, Echevarria M, Chan JW, Geiger JL, Mell L, Seaward S, Thorstad WL, Beitler JJ, Sultanem K, Blakaj D, Le QT. 18F-FDG PET/CT Prediction of Treatment Outcomes in Human Papillomavirus-Positive, Locally Advanced Oropharyngeal Cancer Patients Receiving Deintensified Therapy: Results from NRG-HN002. J Nucl Med. 2023 03; 64(3):362-367.  View on PubMed
  15. Lichter KE, Drew T, Demeulenaere S, Wong E, Mohamad O, Yom SS, Bagshaw HP. Environmental Outcomes Associated With Transition From In-Person to a Virtual Oncology Conference During the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA Oncol. 2022 09 01; 8(9):1351-1352.  View on PubMed
  16. Yom SS. The Top Circulated Red Journal Articles From 2021: Views, Citations, Tweets, Downloads, and Shares. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2022 09 01; 114(1):1-4.  View on PubMed
  17. Kidane J, Laus J, Gulati A, Gochman GE, Schneider SL, Chan JW, Yom SS, Ha P, Boscardin WJ, Ryan WR, Ma Y. Longitudinal Analysis of Swallowing Displacement Kinematics After Oropharyngeal Cancer Treatment. Laryngoscope. 2023 06; 133(6):1339-1348.  View on PubMed
  18. Cheung CK, Chew J, Wai K, Calkins SM, Ha PK, Ryan WR, Cunha A, Yom SS, Hsu IC, Chan JW. Feasibility of accelerated image-guided high-dose-rate interstitial brachytherapy with inverse planning simulated annealing (IPSA-HDRBT) for post-operative treatment of pathologically node-negative squamous cell carcinomas of the oral tongue. Brachytherapy. 2022 Sep-Oct; 21(5):686-691.  View on PubMed
  19. Katsoulakis E, Kudner R, Chapman C, Park J, Puckett L, Solanki A, Kapoor R, Hagan M, Kelly M, Palta J, Tishler R, Hitchcock Y, Chera B, Feygelman V, Walker G, Sher D, Kujundzic K, Wilson E, Dawes S, Yom SS, Harrison L. Consensus Quality Measures and Dose Constraints for Head and Neck Cancer with an emphasis on Oropharyngeal and Laryngeal Cancer from the Veterans Affairs Radiation Oncology Quality Surveillance Program and American Society for Radiation Oncology Expert Panel. Pract Radiat Oncol. 2022 Sep-Oct; 12(5):409-423.  View on PubMed
  20. Saba NF, Mody MD, Rocco JW, Haddad RI, Yom SS. Head and neck cancer: high-end technology is no guarantee of high-quality care - Authors' reply. Lancet. 2022 06 04; 399(10341):2102.  View on PubMed

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