T. Jonathan Yang, MD, PhD

Radiation Oncologist

Co-Director, Oligometastatic Disease and Palliative Radiation Program

MSK radiation oncologist T. Jonathan Yang

About Me

I am a radiation oncologist who specializes in treating tumors of the central nervous system. This includes primary brain tumors, metastatic brain tumors, and spine tumors. I also have expertise in treating metastatic tumors in the body. I use advanced radiation techniques, such as proton therapy and stereotactic radiotherapy, to deliver radiation treatment with a high level of precision while avoiding damage to nearby healthy tissue. This is especially true for proton therapy, which allows me to treat tumors in the brain without affecting important functions, like vision and hearing.

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I am Co-Director of the Oligometastatic Disease and Palliative Radiation Program. This new initiative at Memorial Sloan Kettering focuses on caring for people with cancer that has spread from another part of the body. Radiation therapy already plays an essential role in treating these tumors. My goal is to improve and expand how radiation can better serve people with metastatic disease.

We are piloting radiation therapy early on in treating cancer that has just begun to spread to other parts of the body. This is called oligometastatic disease. This innovative program is changing the way we think about metastatic cancer. We can potentially change the course of the disease and slow its growth. We can even improve the chances that people with metastatic cancer can be disease-free.

Another goal of the program is to find new ways to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of metastatic disease. I am studying whether using radiation early during a person’s care can prevent pain later on. Eventually, that might reduce the need for hospitalization. I am also looking at whether advanced radiation techniques, such as hypofractionation, can give people with metastatic tumors more help with their symptoms in less time.

In the past, some people thought radiation was a damaging form of cancer treatment. Much like with chemotherapy, we have come a long way in how we use radiation to attack tumors. When patients come to see me, I am able to reassure them that I can effectively target a very precise area to control their tumors and their symptoms while protecting healthy tissue. I am always looking for ways to keep improving how we can use radiation to help the people we care for. 

  • Clinical Expertise: Brain Tumors; Oligometastatic Disase; Palliative Radiation; Proton Therapy; Stereotactic Radiosurgery
  • Languages Spoken: English; Mandarin
  • Education: PhD, Vrije Universiteit-Amsterdam; MD, Yale University School of Medicine
  • Residencies: Radiation Oncology - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Board Certifications: Radiation Oncology

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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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