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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 133
  1. Chan JW, Yeh I, El-Sayed IH, Algazi AP, Glastonbury CM, Ha PK, Yom SS, van Zante A. Ultraviolet light-related DNA damage mutation signature distinguishes cutaneous from mucosal or other origin for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma of unknown primary site. Head Neck. 2019 Jan 11. View in PubMed
  2. Wright JL, Yom SS, Awan MJ, Dawes S, Fischer-Valuck B, Kudner R, Vega RM, Rodrigues G. Standardizing Normal Tissue Contouring for Radiation Therapy Treatment Planning: Executive summary of an ASTRO Consensus Paper. Pract Radiat Oncol. 2018 Dec 18. View in PubMed
  3. Bakst RL, Glastonbury CM, Parvathaneni U, Katabi N, Hu KS, Yom SS. Perineural Invasion and Perineural Tumor Spread in Head and Neck Cancer: A Critical Review. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2018 Dec 15. View in PubMed
  4. Videtic GM, Paulus R, Singh AK, Chang JY, Parker W, Olivier KR, Timmerman RD, Komaki RR, Urbanic JJ, Stephans KL, Yom SS, Robinson CG, Belani CP, Iyengar P, Ajlouni MI, Gopaul DD, Gomez Suescun JB, McGarry RC, Choy H, Bradley JD. Long-term Follow-up on NRG Oncology RTOG 0915 (NCCTG N0927): A Randomized Phase 2 Study Comparing 2 Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy Schedules for Medically Inoperable Patients With Stage I Peripheral Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2018 Dec 01. View in PubMed
  5. Fakhry C, Nguyen-Tân PF, Lambert L, Rosenthal DI, Weber RS, Gillison ML, Trotti AM, Barrett WL, Thorstad WL, Jones CU, Yom SS, Wong SJ, Ridge JA, Rao SSD, Bonner JA, Vigneault E, Raben D, Kudrimoti MR, Harris J, Le QT. In Regard to Bossi et al. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2018 Nov 01; 102(3):669-670. View in PubMed
  6. Kearney V, Chan JW, Valdes G, Solberg TD, Yom SS. The application of artificial intelligence in the IMRT planning process for head and neck cancer. Oral Oncol. 2018 Dec; 87:111-116. View in PubMed
  7. Brock KK, Yom SS. Seeing What's Before Us: Imaging in the Electronic Age. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2018 Nov 15; 102(4):675-676. View in PubMed
  8. Morin O, Vallières M, Jochems A, Woodruff HC, Valdes G, Braunstein SE, Wildberger JE, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Kearney V, Yom SS, Solberg TD, Lambin P. A Deep Look Into the Future of Quantitative Imaging in Oncology: A Statement of Working Principles and Proposal for Change. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2018 Nov 15; 102(4):1074-1082. View in PubMed
  9. Le QT, Yom SS, Wee JTS, Lee AWM, Grau C, Grégoire V, Porceddu S, Welch JJ, Mehanna H. In Regard to Beadle and Anderson. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2018 Sep 01; 102(1):229-230. View in PubMed
  10. Yom SS, Zietman AL. Red Journal Readers' Top Articles From 2017. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2018 Aug 01; 101(5):1011-1013. View in PubMed
  11. View All Publications
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