Prof Nancy Lee, MD

I am the Vice Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at MSKCC focusing on Experimental Therapeutics.  I am also the Head and Neck Cancer Chief as well as the Proton Service Chief.

My appointments are in Radiation Oncology as well as Early Drug Development.

My research focuses on developing novel strategies to personalize cancer treatment with the goal to improve tumor cure and quality of life after radiation treatment for head and neck cancer, including: (1) Designing/evaluating novel PET and/or MR imaging metrics to select best candidates for radiation dose reduction, currently the de-escalation dose is 30Gy with chemotherapy for select locally advanced Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) head and neck squamous cell carcinoma with ultimate goal of individualizing systemic therapy; de-escalation strategies for nasopharyngeal carcinoma, HPV negative tumors; thyroid cancer; (2) Assessing biologic targeted therapies and using biomarkers such as plasma EBV DNA to individualize treatment for nasopharyngeal, thyroid, and plasma HPV DNA to personalize oropharyngeal cancer; cell free plasma DNA or circulating tumor DNA to direct therapy across different head and neck/thyroid cancer; escalate therapy based on biologic or imaging correlates; and screening for HPV+ oropharyngeal cancer; (3) Establishing standard treatment guidelines for therapies such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), and proton beam for head and neck cancer and focusing efforts on developing FLASH proton therapy with goal of further toxicity reduction. Since 2003, I have served as MSKCC PI for Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), a member of the RTOG Head Neck Steering Committee, and I lead several multi-site RTOG protocols as national PI. RTOG is incorporated as part of the NRG Oncology Cooperative Group in 2015 and I currently continue to design novel trials such as the use of EBV DNA to guide adjuvant systemic therapy for nasopharyngeal cancer; (4) Combining immunotherapy with radiation therapy.  I am the International PI for the locally advanced head and neck cancer testing the added value of anti-PDL1 to chemoradiation (JAVELIN 100); I am also one of the International PI for using preoperative pembrolizumab followed by surgery to direct adjuvant therapy (Keynote 689); I also completed as the PI of an investigator initiated trial of using anti-CTL4 and anti-PDL1 with SBRT to treat anaplastic thyroid cancer; (5) Combining novel targeted therapeutics with radiation therapy for recurrent/metastatic cancer. I focus my research on several radiation plus DNA repair inhibitor trials such as i.e DNA PK, ATM, ATR inhibitors to further enhance the therapeutic ratio for all cancer.  Currently, I am the PI of an investigated initiated ATR inhibitor with radiation for ATM mutant tumors.