MSK radiation oncologist T. Jonathan Yang

T. Jonathan Yang, MD, PhD

Radiation Oncologist

Titles

Director, Metastatic Disease, Department of Radiation Oncology

Clinical Expertise

Brain Tumors; Oligometastatic Disase; Palliative Radiation; Proton Therapy; Stereotactic Radiosurgery

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About Me

Education

PhD, Vrije Universiteit-Amsterdam; MD, Yale University School of Medicine

Residencies

Radiation Oncology - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Board Certifications

Radiation Oncology

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.

I am Director of Metastatic Disease in the Department of Radiation Oncology. 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 leading clinical trials that are 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.

I am also leading clinical trials to improve the treatment and outcomes for people with brain tumors and leptomeningeal disease.

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. 

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.

Dr. Yang

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Clinical Trials

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Memorial Sloan Kettering's doctors and scientists are constantly developing new treatments for cancer. MSK is typically running hundreds of clinical trials at a given time.

You may be able to participate in a clinical trial even if you are new to MSK. Search our online directory to find trial information and see more about who can participate.