Physician’s Profile

Sam Yoon, MD

Chief, Division of Surgical Oncology
Vice-Chair of Surgical Oncology Research and Education
Expertise: 
Gastric Cancer
Gastrointestinal Cancer
Gastrointestinal Malignancies
Gastrointestinal Tumors
Laparoscopic Surgery
Melanoma
Metastatic Cancer
Minimally Invasive Surgery
Robotic Surgery
Sarcoma
Stomach Cancer
Surgery
Surgical Oncology
About: 

Dr. Sam S. Yoon is the Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology and Vice-Chair of Surgical Oncology Research and Education in the Department of Surgery at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC).

Dr. Yoon graduated from Harvard University and received his M.D. from the University of California at San Diego. He completed his residency in general surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and his fellowship in surgical oncology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He was an Associate Professor of Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School before joining the staff at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in 2012. Dr. Yoon was an Attending Surgeon in the Division of Gastric and Mixed Tumors at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and a Professor of Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College before joining CUIMC in 2021.

Dr. Yoon is a national and international expert in the treatment of patients with sarcomas and other soft tissue tumors, gastric (stomach) and gastroesophageal cancers, and gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs). He also has over 18 years of experience in the treatment of other gastrointestinal tumors, hepatobiliary tumors, melanoma, and neuroendocrine tumors. He has been the principal investigator of several clinical trials examining novel treatment strategies and given numerous invited national and international lectures in relation to these cancers. Several of these trials have investigated the treatment of sarcomas, especially abdominal/retroperitoneal sarcomas, with advanced radiation techniques such as proton beam radiation and aggressive surgical resection to minimize local recurrence. Dr. Yoon was an early advocate for minimally invasive robotic surgery and has performed over 300 robotic procedures including robotic gastrectomies (stomach removal). He has one of the world’s largest experiences in performing prophylactic total gastrectomies for patients with hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (HDGC syndrome) secondary to germline CDH1 mutation. He pioneered a technique for connection of the small bowel to the esophagus after total gastrectomy that is used by former surgical trainees and colleagues throughout the country due to its extremely low leakage rate.

Dr. Yoon’s main research interests are in cancer stem cells and targeted biological agents in combination with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. His laboratory has been funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute for 18 years and strives to translate new research discoveries into the clinic. Dr. Yoon is also part of multi-institution research groups funded by Stand Up To Cancer and the DeGregorio Family Foundation to discover early diagnostics and new therapies for gastric cancer. His clinical and research efforts have led to over 150 original research articles, book chapters, and reviews.

Honors: 

Best Doctors in America, 2010-2011, 2017-2020

American College of Surgeons/Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract Health Policy Scholar Award, 2019-2020

Runner-up, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Surgical Oncology Fellows’ Teacher of the Year, 2018-2019 and 2019-2020

2017 Paper of the Year Award, New England Surgical Society, 2017

Josef E. Fischer International Traveling Fellowship Award for Surgeons in Academic Practice, Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, 2012

Clinical Investigator Award, Society for Surgical Oncology, 2009-2011

Publications: 
Lin JX, Yoon C, Desiderio J, Yi BC, Li P, Zheng CH, Parisi A, Huang CM, Strong VE, Yoon SS. Development and validation of a staging system for gastric adenocarcinoma following neoadjuvant chemotherapy and gastrectomy with D2 lymphadenectomy. British Journal of Surgery 106(9):1187-1196, Aug 2019.
Lee JH, Chang KK, Yoon C, Tang LH, Strong VE, Yoon SS. Lauren histologic type is the most important factor associated with pattern of recurrence following resection of gastric adenocarcinoma. Annals of Surgery 267(1):105-13, Jan 2018.
Chang KK, Patel MS, Yoon SS. Linear-stapled side-to-side esophagojejunostomy with hand-sewn closure of the common enterotomy after therapeutic and prophylactic total gastrectomy. Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery 21(4):712-722, Apr 2017.
Kelly KJ*, Yoon SS*; Kuk D, Qin LX, Duklesk K, Chang KK, Chen YL, DeLaney TF,B Brennan MF, Singer S. Comparison of perioperative radiation therapy and surgery versus surgery alone in 204 patients with primary retroperitoneal sarcoma: a retrospective two-institution study. Annals of Surgery 262(1):156-62, Jul 2015. *Equal contribution first-authors.
Yoon SS, Duda DG, Karl DL, Kim TM, Kambad akone AR, Chen YL, Rothrock C, Rosenberg AE, Nielsen GP, Kirsch DG, Choy E, Harmon DC, Hornicek FJ, Dreyfuss J, Ancukiewicz M, Sahani DV, Park PJ, Jain RK, DeLaney TF. *Phase II study of neoadjuvant bevacizumab and radiation therapy for resectable soft tissue sarcomas. International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 81(4):1081-90, Nov 15, 2011. *Article featured on journal cover.