James Huang, MD

James Huang, MD

Meet Thoracic Surgeon James Huang

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About Me

I am a surgeon who specializes in the treatment of cancers of the chest including lung cancer, esophageal cancer, thymoma, thymic carcinoma, mediastinal tumors, lung metastases, and mesothelioma. When possible, I utilize minimally invasive surgical techniques to reduce trauma and speed the recovery process. Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) lobectomy permits the removal of lung tumors through small incisions, and endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) now provides a much less invasive method to biopsy and stage lung cancer.

I have a special interest in the treatment of patients with thymoma, thymic carcinoma, and other mediastinal tumors. My research centers on increasing our knowledge about these uncommon diseases. By examining the genetic and molecular characteristics of thymomas and thymic carcinomas, we can better understand how these tumors develop and can create new targeted therapies to treat them. To enhance the quality of our care, I developed and maintain the Memorial Sloan Kettering thymoma database to follow the outcomes of our patients. My colleagues and I are actively pursuing clinical trials to find more-effective therapies to treat these tumors. The treatment of these tumors often requires a collaborative effort between surgeons, oncologists and radiation oncologists, and we are fortunate here at Memorial Sloan Kettering to have a team of experts specifically interested in thymoma and thymic carcinoma.

In addition, I am also committed to the training of future leaders in thoracic surgery. I lead the teaching program for our fellows in thoracic surgery and serve on a national committee overseeing all thoracic surgery training programs in the United States. The interaction we have with our fellows and students is a continual source of renewal and enrichment. Educating the physicians of tomorrow is a unique privilege that will continue to advance our fight against cancer.

  • Clinical Expertise: Thymoma and Thymic Carcinoma; Mediastinal Tumors; Lung Cancer; Esophageal Cancer; Minimally Invasive Surgery; Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS), VATS Lobectomy; Pulmonary Metastases; Mesothelioma; Bronchoscopy, Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS); Gastrointestinal Endoscopy; Tracheobronchial and Esophageal Stents
  • Awards and Honors: Castle Connolly: New York Magazine Top Doctors (2016; 2018)
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Education: MD, Columbia University
  • Residencies: General Surgery - Brigham and Women's Hospital; Cardiothoracic Surgery - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Fellowships: Thoracic Surgery - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Board Certifications: Thoracic Surgery; General Surgery

See My Colleagues


Selected Book Chapters

“Multidisciplinary management of thymic carcinoma.” Riely G, Huang J, Rimner A. ASCO 2012 Educational Book. Alexandria, Virginia: American Society of Clinical Oncology; 2012.

“Unusual primary malignant neoplasms of the lung.” Bott MJ, Huang J. In: Current Therapy in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. 2nd ed. Yang SC, Cameron DE, eds. London, UK: Elsevier. (In press)

Articles in Journals

Yu HA, Sima CS, Huang J, Solomon SB, Rimner A, Paik P, Pietanza MC, Azzoli CG, Rizvi NA, Krug LM, Miller VA, Kris MG, Riely GJ. Local therapy with continued EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy as a treatment strategy in EGFR-mutant advanced lung cancers that have developed acquired resistance to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors. J Thorac Oncol. 2013 Mar;8(3):346-51.

Sarkaria IS, Rizk NP, Finley DJ, Bains MS, Adusumilli PS, Huang J, Rusch VW. Combined thoracoscopic and laparoscopic robotic-assisted minimally invasive esophagectomy using a four-arm platform: experience, technique and cautions during early procedure development. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2013 Jan 30.

Huang, J., Lin, S., Nadershahi, A., Watts, S., Sarkar, R. Role of redox signaling and poly (adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase activation in vascular smooth muscle cell growth inhibition by nitric oxide and peroxynitrite. Journal of Vascular Surgery. 47(3):599-607, 2008 Mar.

Huang, J., Riely, G., Rosenzweig, K., Rusch, V. Multimodality therapy for locally advanced thymomas: State of the art or investigational therapy? Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 85(2):365-7, 2008 Feb.

Huang, J., Rizk, NP., Travis, WD., Seshan, VE., Bains, MS., Dycoco, J., Downey, RJ., Flores, RM., Park, BJ., Rusch, VW. Feasibility of multimodality therapy including extended resections in Stage IVA thymoma. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. 134(6):1477-83, 2007 Dec.

Huang, J., Rizk, N., Park, B., Bains, M., Flores, R., Downey, R., Rusch, V. Recent clinical experience with multimodality therapy in thymic carcinoma. Journal of Clinical Oncology (Meeting Abstracts) 2007; 25: 18003

Puhlmann M., Brown CK., Gnant M., Huang J., Libutti SK., Alexander HR., Bartlett DL. Vaccinia as a vector for tumor-directed gene therapy: biodistribution of a thymidine kinase-deleted mutant. Cancer Gene Therapy. 7(1): 66-73, 2000 Jan.

Gnant MF., Berger AC., Huang J., Puhlmann M., Wu PC., Merino MJ., Bartlett DL., Alexander HR., Libutti SK. Sensitization of tumor necrosis factor alpha-resistant human melanoma by tumor-specific in vivo transfer of the gene encoding endothelial monocyte-activating polypeptide II using recombinant vaccina virus. Cancer Research. 59(18): 4668-74, 1999 Sep 15.

Wu P., Alexander HR., Huang J., Hwu P., Gnant M., Berger AC., Tuner E., Wilson O., Libutti SK. In vivo sensitivity of human melanoma to tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha is determined by tumor production of the novel cytokine endothelial monocyte-activating polypeptide II (EMAP II). Cancer Research. 59(1): 205-12, 1999 Jan 1.

Wu, P., Berger, A., Huang, J., Gnant, M., Turner, E., Alexander, H., Libutti, S. In vivo tumors that overexpress endothelial monocyte-activating polypeptide II demonstrate upregulation of tumor necrosis factor receptor p55 on tumor neovasculature. Surgical Forum, 49: 436-438, 1998.

Park B., Alexander HR., Libutti SK., Huang J., Royalty D., Skarulis MC., Jensen RT., Gorden P., Doppman JL., Shawker T., Fraker DL., Norton JA., Bartlett DL. Operative management of islet-cell tumors arising in the head of the pancreas. Surgery. 124(6): 1056-61; discussion 1061-2, 1998 Dec.

Allendorf JD., Bessler M., Huang J., Kayton ML., Laird D., Nowygrod R., Treat MR. Helium-neon laser irradiation at fluences of 1, 2, and 4 J/cm2 failed to accelerate wound healing as assessed by both wound contracture rate and tensile strength. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine. 20(3): 340-5, 1997.

Yan SF., Tritto I., Pinsky D., Liao H., Huang J., Fuller G., Brett J., May L., Stern D. Induction of interleukin-6 (IL-6) by hypoxia in vascular cells. Central role of the binding site for nuclear factor-IL-6. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 270(19): 11463-71, 1995 May 12.


Clinical Trials

As home to one of the world’s top cancer research centers, Memorial Sloan Kettering is typically involved in more than 900 clinical trials at a given time. Currently, clinical trials focused on the conditions I treat are enrolling new patients. If you’re interested in joining a clinical trial, click to learn about the trial’s purpose, eligibility criteria, and how to get more information.

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Most major health insurers offer plans that include MSK as one of their in-network providers. If MSK is in-network, it means all our doctors are too. Medicare and New York State Medicaid also provide benefits for care at MSK.

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