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Sue S. Yom, M.D., Ph.D.

Sue S. Yom, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Radiation Oncology & Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

Contact Information

Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
1600 Divisadero Street, Box 1708
San Francisco, California 94143-1708
Phone: 415-353-7175
Fax: 415-353-9883
yoms@radonc.ucsf.edu
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  • 1987-91, Rice University, Houston, TX,  B.A.  French
  • 1993-02, University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D. English
  • 1995-02, University of Pennsylvania, M.D., Medicine
  • 2002-2003 M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Intern, Medicine/Surgery
  • 2003-2007 M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Resident, Radiation Oncology 
  • American Board of Radiology
  • Thoracic Oncology Program
  • Head and Neck Oncology Program
  • Visible Tumor and High-Risk Skin Cancer Program
  • Department of Radiation Oncology
  • Brachytherapy
  • Bronchioloalveolar Carcinoma (BAC)
  • Chemoradiation
  • CyberKnife irradiation for lung and skull base
  • Electron beam and orthovoltage irradiation
  • External-beam radiation therapy
  • Head & Neck Cancer
  • Hyperthemia
  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy
  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Small-Cell Lung Cancer
  • Advanced imaging and radiation planning
  • Head and neck and lung cancers
  • Image-guided and adaptive radiation therapy
  • Outcomes and quality of life
  • Radiation in combination with chemotherapy and targeted agents
  • Radiation sensitizers and protectors

Dr. Yom is a radiation oncologist who specializes in the treatment of head and neck and lung cancers. She received her M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2002 and completed her residency training at the prestigious M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. In 2007, she joined the UCSF faculty as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Radiation Oncology.  

Dr. Yom is particularly interested in emerging radiotherapeutic and biologic techniques aimed at reducing the toxicities of treatment. In head and neck cancer, she has studied a variety of issues related to chemoradiation and combined modality treatments, technical aspects of radiation delivery, and radiation-related prognostic factors and post-treatment management. Specifically in lung cancer, she has been involved in efforts to quantify the risks of pneumonitis and esophagitis resulting from concurrent treatment with chemotherapy and radiation and helped to establish intensity-modulated radiation therapy in the treatment of locoregionally advanced lung cancers.

Evidencing her commitment to patient care and patient-oriented research, Dr. Yom has been the recipient of numerous awards including the ASTRO Fellowship from the Korean American Society for Therapeutic Radiology & Oncology, the Jesse H. Jones Fellowship in Cancer Education for excellence in cancer education at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, an award from the A. Lavoy Moore Endowment Fund for excellence in lung cancer research, and the Eleanor Montague Distinguished Resident Award in Radiation Oncology from the American Association of Women Radiologists. She has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles and is a regularly invited speaker to fellow professionals in the field.

In lung cancer, Dr. Yom has conducted research quantifying the risks of pneumonitis and esophagitis when chemotherapy and radiation are given simultaneously. Her research findings were important in establishing the early use of intensity-modulated radiation therapy for lung cancer in combination with 4-dimensional CT-based planning. She has particular expertise in the delivery of chemoradiation therapy for advanced-stage lung cancer, and also the delivery of non-invasive stereotactic CyberKnife radiation for early-stage lung cancer. Her hope is that better understanding of radiation toxicities will permit higher treatment doses, increase the rate of cure and improve patient quality of life. She is strongly committed to research that will lead to more effective, less toxic, and more highly individualized therapy for patients.

Dr. Yom is an investigator on many research studies in head and neck and lung cancer at UCSF, including trials related to to image-guided radiation, head and neck patients' quality of life, and combinations of novel systemic agents with radiation therapy. She is especially interested in improved clinical and translational prognostic models in order to provide more effective and individualized therapy. It is hoped that the reduction of toxicities, both through technical and biologic means, will improve patients' quality of life and potentially enable physicians to deliver more intelligently targeted radiation and chemotherapy doses in search of a better chance of cure. She believes in multidisciplinary management and a unified, team-oriented approach to patient care

Most recent publications from a total of 122
  1. Xu MJ, Wu S, Daud AI, Yu SS, Yom SS. In-field and abscopal response after short-course radiation therapy in patients with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma progressing on PD-1 checkpoint blockade: a case series. J Immunother Cancer. 2018 May 30; 6(1):43. View in PubMed
  2. Winchester D, Lehman J, Tello T, Chimato N, Hocker T, Kim S, Chang J, Markey J, Yom SS, Ryan W, Mully T, Hodge D, Otley C, Arron S. Undifferentiated Pleomorphic Sarcoma: Factors Predictive of Adverse Outcomes. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2018 May 19. View in PubMed
  3. Colevas AD, Yom SS, Pfister DG, Spencer S, Adelstein D, Adkins D, Brizel DM, Burtness B, Busse PM, Caudell JJ, Cmelak AJ, Eisele DW, Fenton M, Foote RL, Gilbert J, Gillison ML, Haddad RI, Hicks WL, Hitchcock YJ, Jimeno A, Leizman D, Maghami E, Mell LK, Mittal BB, Pinto HA, Ridge JA, Rocco J, Rodriguez CP, Shah JP, Weber RS, Witek M, Worden F, Zhen W, Burns JL, Darlow SD. NCCN Guidelines Insights: Head and Neck Cancers, Version 1.2018. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2018 May; 16(5):479-490. View in PubMed
  4. Chapman CH, McGuinness C, Gottschalk AR, Yom SS, Garsa AA, Anwar M, Braunstein SE, Sudhyadhom A, Keall P, Descovich M. Influence of respiratory motion management technique on radiation pneumonitis risk with robotic stereotactic body radiation therapy. J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2018 Apr 26. View in PubMed
  5. Xu MJ, Wu TJ, van Zante A, El-Sayed IH, Algazi AP, Ryan WR, Ha PK, Yom SS. Mortality risk after clinical management of recurrent and metastatic adenoid cystic carcinoma. J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2018 Apr 25; 47(1):28. View in PubMed
  6. Yom SS, Zietman AL. Radiation Therapy in a Time of Disaster. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2018 Mar 15; 100(4):832-833. View in PubMed
  7. Yom SS, Harari PM. When Disaster Strikes: Mitigating the Adverse Impact on Head and Neck Cancer Patients. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2018 Mar 15; 100(4):838-840. View in PubMed
  8. Xu MJ, Lazar AA, Garsa AA, Arron ST, Ryan WR, El-Sayed IH, George JR, Algazi AP, Heaton CM, Ha PK, Yom SS. Major prognostic factors for recurrence and survival independent of the American Joint Committee on Cancer eighth edition staging system in patients with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma treated with multimodality therapy. Head Neck. 2018 Mar 10. View in PubMed
  9. Yu Y, El-Sayed IH, McDermott MW, Theodosopoulos PV, van Zante A, Kased N, Glastonbury CM, Garsa AA, Yom SS. Dural recurrence among esthesioneuroblastoma patients presenting with intracranial extension. Laryngoscope. 2018 Feb 10. View in PubMed
  10. Mayo CS, Moran JM, Bosch W, Xiao Y, McNutt T, Popple R, Michalski J, Feng M, Marks LB, Fuller CD, Yorke E, Palta J, Gabriel PE, Molineu A, Matuszak MM, Covington E, Masi K, Richardson SL, Ritter T, Morgas T, Flampouri S, Santanam L, Moore JA, Purdie TG, Miller RC, Hurkmans C, Adams J, Jackie Wu QR, Fox CJ, Siochi RA, Brown NL, Verbakel W, Archambault Y, Chmura SJ, Dekker AL, Eagle DG, Fitzgerald TJ, Hong T, Kapoor R, Lansing B, Jolly S, Napolitano ME, Percy J, Rose MS, Siddiqui S, Schadt C, Simon WE, Straube WL, St James ST, Ulin K, Yom SS, Yock TI. American Association of Physicists in Medicine Task Group 263: Standardizing Nomenclatures in Radiation Oncology. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2018 Mar 15; 100(4):1057-1066. View in PubMed
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