Nancy Y. Lee, MD

As a board-certified radiation oncologist, my expertise is using intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) to treat patients with thyroid and other head and neck cancers. Using this advanced form of 3D conformal radiotherapy, our goals are twofold — improving patients’ outcomes and decreasing the side effects of treatment.

There are many effective treatment options for patients diagnosed with tumors in the head and neck. Many of these tumors can be eliminated without the need of an invasive surgery, using radiation therapy alone or radiation in combination with chemotherapy (such as tumors in the tonsil, base of tongue, and soft palate). Before making a decision on which treatment to pursue, I believe it is important to have a consultation with a surgeon, radiation oncologist, and medical oncologist to hear about all the different options available.

I am also the principal investigator of a national clinical trial for the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) that evaluates IMRT for the treatment of nasopharyngeal cancer. In addition, I recently participated with many collaborators — including RTOG and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) — to define the appropriate treatment volume for the neck in patients who are receiving IMRT for head and neck cancer.

Maximizing tumor control using proton therapy while minimizing acute and late side effects is another expertise of mine. My goal is to use the most ideal technology, whether proton therapy or intensity modulated radiation therapy, to personalize treatment for each patient with head and neck or thyroid cancer, and to ensure the best quality of life during this process while achieving a cure.