I am a surgical oncologist specializing in the treatment of people with sarcomas and stomach (gastric) cancer. I received my general surgery training at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), completed my fellowship in surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and worked as an academic surgeon at MGH and Harvard Medical School for nearly 10 years. In 2012, I was recruited back to MSK and joined the Gastric and Mixed Tumor Service. I work primarily at MSK’s main campus in Manhattan, but I also spend one morning per week at our Basking Ridge, New Jersey outpatient location where I see people with sarcomas and stomach cancer, as well as people with tumors of the liver, pancreas, colon, rectum, small intestine, spleen/lymph nodes, and adrenal gland.
My main goal is to provide each patient with the absolute best care for his or her particular disease. I work closely with medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, and other medical professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with sarcomas and gastric cancer. I also serve as Chair of MSK’s Surgical Quality Assurance Committee. I feel it’s important, even for experienced surgeons, to constantly improve and expand one’s surgical skills. For me, this has involved early adoption of new laparoscopic and minimally invasive techniques, such as robot-assisted resection of gastric, colorectal, adrenal, and other intra-abdominal tumors. I’ve performed over 100 minimally invasive robot-assisted procedures using the da Vinci Surgical System, which allows for much smaller incisions, more precise operations, and faster recovery.
I have performed clinical and laboratory research throughout my career and am the author of over 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Many of these publications describe the treatment and outcome of patients with various sarcomas (e.g. retroperitoneal and pelvic sarcomas, extremity and trunk sarcomas, and angiosarcomas) and gastrointestinal cancers (e.g. gastric adenocarcinoma, hereditary diffuse gastric cancer syndrome, gastrointestinal stromal tumors, and colorectal cancer liver metastases). I am on the editorial board for medical journals, such as the Annals of Surgical Oncology and the Oncologist, and serve on several national committees, including the American Joint Commission on Cancer Soft Tissue Sarcoma Expert Panel.
I am the principal investigator for a research laboratory that examines the role of the tumor blood vessels and cancer stem cells in controlling the growth, metastasis, and treatment response of sarcomas and gastric cancers. My laboratory is currently funded by an R01 grant from the National Cancer Institute as well as other foundation and society grants. We previously completed a clinical trial examining the role of bevacizumab (Avastin®), a drug that inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A), and radiation in the pre-operative treatment of resectable sarcomas. Bevacizumab markedly improved the tumor-killing effects of radiation, and this trial served as the basis for an ongoing multi-institutional trial of VEGF-A inhibition and radiation run by the Children’s Oncology Group and the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group. More recently, we have found that inhibiting cancer stem cells improves the effectiveness of standard chemotherapies, and we are currently developing clinical trials in this area for sarcomas and gastric cancer.
- Clinical Expertise: Sarcomas and other Soft Tissue Tumors; Gastric (Stomach) Hepatopancreaticobiliary Tumors; Colorectal Cancer; Small Bowel Tumors; Neuroendocrine Tumors; Lymphoma and Spleen Tumors; Adrenal Tumors
- Languages Spoken: English
- Education: MD, University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine
- Residencies: Massachusetts General Hospital
- Fellowships: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
- Board Certifications: Surgery
Selected Book Chapters
“Surgical management of metastatic colon and rectal cancer.” Yoon SS, Tanabe KK. In: American Cancer Society Atlas of Clinical Oncology: Cancer of the Lower Gastrointestinal Tract. Steele GD, Phillips TL, Chabner BA, eds. Willet C, series ed. Hamilton, Ontario, CA: BC Decker Inc., 2001; 170-195.
“Surgical and regional therapy for liver metastases.” Tanabe KK, Yoon SS. In: Oncology: An Evidence Based Approach. Chang AE, Ganz PA, Hayes DF, Kinsella TJ, Pass HI, Schiller JH, Stone RM, Strecher VJ, eds. New York: Springer-Verlag, 2006; 1636-1654.
“Benign liver tumors.” Yoon SS, Tanabe KK. In: Advanced Therapy in Surgical Oncology. Pollock RE, Curley SA, Ross MI, Perrior ND, eds. Hamilton, British Columbia: Decker, 2007; 131-142.
“Soft tissue sarcomas.” DeLaney TF, Hornicek FJ, Kirsch DG, Yoon SS, Rosenberg AE, Harmon DC, Mankin HJ, Rosenthal D, Suit HD. In: Treatment of Cancer. Price P, Sikora K, Illidge T, eds. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2008.
“Soft tissue and bone sarcomas.” Yoon SS, Hornicek FJ, Harmon DC, DeLaney TF. In: Harrison’s Handbook of Medical Oncology. Chabner BA, Lynch TJ, Longo DL, eds. New York: McGraw Hill, 2008; 549-566.
“Hereditary diffuse gastric cancer.” Pandalai PK, Yoon SS. In: Principles of Clinical Cancer Genetics. Chung DC, Haber DA, eds. New York: Springer, 2010; 97-107.
“The management of soft tissue sarcoma.” Yoon SS, Hornicek FJ. In: Current Surgical Therapy. 10th ed. Cameron JL, Cameron AM, eds. Philadelphia: Elsevier, 2011; 631-636.
“Radiation therapy for desmoid tumors.” El Halabi HO, Chen YL, Mullen JT, Yoon SS, Hornicek FJ, DeLaney TF. In: Desmoid Tumors. Litchman CD, ed. New York: Springer, 2012; 105-126.
“Soft tissue and bone sarcomas.” Yoon SS, Hornicek FJ, Choy E, DeLaney TF. In: Harrison’s Handbook of Medical Oncology. 2nd ed. Chabner BA, Lynch TJ, Longo DL, eds. New York: McGraw Hill (in press).
“The management of gastric adenocarcinoma.” Yoon SS. In: Current Surgical Therapy, 11th ed. Cameron JL, Cameron AM. Philadelphia: Elsevier (in press).
Research is integral to our mission at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and clinical trials help us discover better forms of patient care and treatment. For you, this could mean access to a new therapy or therapy combination. Click to see a list of the trials I’m currently leading.
Clinical Trials Co-Investigated by Sam S. Yoon
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. Medicaid and New York State Medicare also provide benefits for care at MSK.Learn more