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Dr. Yung Named Head of Neuro-Oncology at M. D. Anderson

Dr. Yung Named Head of Neuro-Oncology at M. D. Anderson
M. D. Anderson News Release 05/10/02

Dr. W.K. Alfred Yung, M.D. has been named chair of the Department of Neuro-Oncology in the Division of Cancer Medicine at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.  Dr. Yung, a professor of neurology and the Florence M. Thomas Professor of Cancer Research at M. D. Anderson, has been a member of M. D. Anderson’s faculty for more than 20 years. His contributions to the field of neuro-oncology have received national and international recognition.

Dr. Yung’s clinical research centers on combination chemotherapy, biological therapy and growth factor expression in brain tumors. He has conducted a number of seminal clinical trials with several new agents, such as temozolmide, thalidomide and cis-retinoic acid, and defined their use in patients with glioblastoma, a deadly form of brain tumor.  He is also a pioneer and leader in researching gene therapy for brain tumors.

“Our research challenge is to uncover the multiple steps involved in the cancer process, and intervene with innovative approaches that reverse progression or prevent development of the disease,” Dr. Yung said. 

The primary objective of Dr. Yung’s laboratory research program has been to develop molecular therapeutic strategies to modulate the growth and survival mechanisms that are critical to brain tumor development and progression. He also is working to develop a molecular therapy program targeting the PTEN/PI3K, EGFR and VEGF pathway abnormalities present in malignant glioma.

Dr. Yung is the principal investigator of a National Cancer Institute-sponsored Brain Tumor Consortium, conducting phase I and phase II trials of several gene therapy strategies as well as several newly developed anti-angiogenesis agents such as SU5416, PTK787 and PKI166.  He is co-founder of the MMAC/PTEN gene with the late Dr. Peter Steck.

A 1975 graduate of the University Of Chicago Pritzker School Of Medicine, Dr. Yung completed his internship and residency at the University of California, San Diego, serving as chief resident in neurology in 1978. He then held a fellowship in neuro-oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He also was a clinical fellow in neurology at New York Hospital from 1979 to 1981.

Dr. Yung is a member of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, American Academy of Neurology, American Society of Gene Therapy, American Association for Cancer Research and the Society for Neuro-Oncology. Dr. Yung has been named to “The Best Doctors in America” numerous times.


© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center