Valley Medical Group is pleased to welcome medical oncologist/hematologist Yoomi Lee, M.D., M.S., who focuses on the
treatment and research of gastrointestinal cancers, including cancers of the pancreas, stomach, esophagus, liver, bile ducts, small intestine, and colon/rectum.
Dr. Lee joins five other Valley Medical Group hematologists/oncologists in practice at Valley’s Daniel & Gloria Blumenthal Cancer Center in Paramus. The Hematology-Medical Oncology Division recently underwent a reorganization that allows the division’s six physicians to subspecialize in treating specific cancers and blood disorders. This will lead to nuanced treatment plans for patients and will enhance the center’s ability to conduct clinical research trials.
“There is much to be positive about treating GI cancers today, with new chemotherapy regimens that are extending survival time for patients with pancreatic cancer, targeted therapies using monoclonal antibodies that target HER2-positive proteins on stomach cancer cells, and vascular growth factors that slow or stop the growth of new blood vessels that ‘feed’ gastric tumors in the stomach,” notes Dr. Lee. “Deaths from colon cancer are declining as survival rates are increasing due to targeted therapies that attack the cancer cells directly. The rising incidence of gastric cancer in the upper stomach among people in Asia, the United States, and western cultures is an area of particular interest to me because of my Korean heritage.”
Board-certified in internal medicine, hematology, and medical oncology, Dr. Lee is participating in clinical trials to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of new therapies and treatment protocols for several gastrointestinal cancers. While on the faculty of New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, she conducted basic research in esophageal cancer and Barrett’s esophagus, a condition that can be a precursor to esophageal cancer. Her research has been published in many peer-reviewed publications.
“Researching GI cancers and treating patients is interesting and rewarding because these diseases range from types that are common and manageable, such as colon cancer, to others that are more difficult to treat and have a higher mortality rate, like pancreatic cancer,” says Dr. Lee.
Dr. Lee earned a bachelor of science degree and a master of science degree magna cum laude in molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale University. She received her medical degree from the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City and was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute research scholar. At Columbia University Medical Center, she completed a residency in internal medicine and a clinical fellowship in hematology/oncology. She was chief fellow from 2011-2012. Prior to joining Valley Medical Group, she was on the Columbia faculty for two years.
A native of Bergen County who attended Ridgewood High School, Dr. Lee says that among her goals at Valley is to provide world-class cancer care close to her patients’ homes.
“Caring for my patients within their community will not only ease the burden on them by reducing their travel and time away from home, but will enable me to develop a close relationship with them as they return for their ongoing treatment and a lifetime of follow-up care,” she adds.
To make an appointment with Dr. Lee, please call 201-634-5578.
The Valley Hospital has received six Gold Seals from The Joint Commission for cancer care, more than any other hospital in the nation. Valley’s cancer care program was also awarded a Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation by the Commission on Cancer. For more information, visit www.ValleyFightsCancer.com.