Chi-Fu Jeffrey Yang, MD, is a thoracic surgeon in the Massachusetts General Hospital Division of Thoracic Surgery and faculty at Harvard Medical School.
C. J. Yang Laboratory
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114
Chi-Fu Jeffrey Yang, MD
Surgeon, Division of Thoracic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School
Explore This Lab
About the Lab
The clinical and translational research of Chi-Fu Jeffrey Yang, MD, in the Division of Thoracic Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital aims to improve care for patients with lung cancer and other diseases of the chest. Dr. Yang’s team comprises clinicians, scientists, engineers and biostatisticians with wide-ranging interests. He is a principal investigator and recipient of NIH R01 funding from the National Institutes of Health. His research goal is to answer important clinical questions and produce meaningful findings that can be used to help patients, and potentially save lives.
Research and Publications
Evaluating the Impact of Lung Cancer Screening
Dr. Yang has led studies evaluating the impact of guideline changes on screening eligibility for lung cancer and survival in patients with lung cancer. This work has been published in the British Medical Journal and JAMA Oncology and presented to the Center of Medicaid and Medicare Services to support removing the “15 years since quitting” criteria from the lung cancer screening guidelines. This work has also been used to support European Union Cancer Screening Recommendations and the World Economic Forum Cancer Screening Guidelines.
- Potter AL, Yang CJ [co-first author], Woolpert KM, Puttaraju T, Suzuki K, Palmer JR. Evaluating Eligibility of US Black Women Under USPSTF Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines. JAMA Oncology 8(1):163-164. PMID: 34817564
- Potter AL, Rosenstein AL, Kiang MV, Shah S, Gaissert H, Chang DC, Fintelmann FJ, Yang CJ. The Association of Computed Tomography Screening with Lung Cancer Stage Shift and Survival in the United States: A Quasi-experimental Study. British Medical Journal [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 35354556.
Evaluating Outcomes of Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery
Dr. Yang evaluates outcomes between minimally invasive surgical techniques versus traditional open procedures for thoracic cancers. The studies that he has led elucidate the role of minimally invasive thoracic surgery and have aided clinicians in selecting the most appropriate course of treatment.
- Yang CJ, Kumar A, Klapper J, Hartwig MG, Tong B, Harpole DH Jr, Berry MF, D’Amico TA. A National Analysis of Long-term Survival Following Thoracoscopic versus Open Lobectomy for Stage I Non-small-cell Lung Cancer. Annals of Surgery. 2019; 269 (1):163-171. PMID: 28799982
Yang CF, Kumar A, Deng J, Raman V, Lui N, D’Amico TA, Berry MF. A National Analysis of Short-term Outcomes and Long-term Survival Following Thoracoscopic vs Open Lobectomy for Clinical Stage II Non-small-cell Lung Cancer. Annals of Surgery. 2021; 273(3):595-605. PMID: 30946089
- Yang CJ, Nwosu A, Mayne NR, Wang YY, Raman V, Meyerhoff RR, D'Amico TA, Berry MF. A Minimally Invasive Approach to Lobectomy After Induction Therapy Does Not Compromise Survival. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2020; 109 (5):1503-1511. PMID: 31733187
- Yang CJ, Hurd J, Shah SA, Liou D, Wang H, Backhus LM, Lui NS, D'Amico TA, Shrager JB, Berry MF. A National Analysis of Open Versus Minimally Invasive Thymectomy for Stage I to III Thymoma. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. 2020; 160(2):555-567. PMID: 32245668
Evaluating Treatments for Limited-stage Small-cell Lung Cancer
Dr. Yang’s grandfather passed away from small-cell lung cancer, and evaluating the role of different treatments for small-cell lung cancer has always been a top research priority. His work has been used to support national guidelines for the roles of surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy and prophylactic cranial irradiation in the treatment of limited-stage small-cell lung cancer. He is also actively designing clinical trials testing the latest and most cutting-edge treatments for small-cell lung cancer.
- Yang CF, Chan DY, Speicher PJ, Gulack BC, Wang X, Hartwig MG, Onaitis MW, Tong BC, D’Amico TA, Berry MF, Harpole DH. Role of Adjuvant Therapy in a Population-Based Cohort of Patients With Early-Stage Small-Cell Lung Cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2016; 34(10):1057-64. PMID: 26786925
- Yang CF, Chan DY, Shah S, Yerokun B, Wang XF, D’Amico TA, Berry MF, Harpole DH Jr. Long-term Survival After Surgery Compared with Concurrent Chemoradiation for Node-negative Small Cell Lung Cancer. Annals of Surgery. 2018; 268(6):1105-1112. PMID: 27870575
- Yang CJ, Chan DY, Speicher PJ, Gulack BC, Tong BC, Hartwig MG, Kelsey CR, D'Amico TA, Berry MF, Harpole DH. Surgery Versus Optimal Medical Management for N1 Small Cell Lung Cancer. Annals of Thoracic Surgery.2017; 103(6):1767-1772. PMID: 28385378
Using Advanced Statistical Modeling to Answer Key Questions in Thoracic Surgery
Dr. Yang is experienced in using advanced statistical modeling (e.g., machine learning techniques, Cox regression analysis with restricted cubic splines or penalized smoothing splines) to address important questions in thoracic surgery (e.g., optimal timing of lobectomy, impact of extended delay of surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic).
- Yang CJ, Wang H, Kumar A, Hartwig MG, Harpole DH, D’Amico TA, Berry MF. Impact of Timing of Lobectomy on Survival for Clinical Stage IA Lung Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Chest. 2017; 152(6):1239-1250. PMID: 28800867
- Raman V, Jawitz OK, Voigt SL, Rhodin KE, D'Amico TA, Harpole DH, Yang CF [co-senior author], Tong BC. The Effect of Tumor Size and Histology on Outcomes Following Segmentectomy vs. Lobectomy for Clinically Node-negative Non-small Cell Lung Cancer. Chest. 2021; 159(1):390-400. PMID: 32652096
- Mayne NR, Lin BK, Darling AJ, Raman V, Patel D, Liou D, D’Amico TA, Yang CJ. Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy versus Delayed Surgery for Early Stage Non-small-cell Lung Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Annals of Surgery. 2020; 272(6):925-929. PMID: 33074904
- Yang CF, Wang HW, Chan D, Lin K, Yerokun B, D’Amico TA, Berry MF. Pneumonectomy after Induction Therapy for Non-small Cell Lung Cancer: Development of a Nomogram Using Machine Learning Techniques to Assist Patient Selection. Submitted
Research in Older Adults (70 Years and Above) with Cancer
An important area of focus for Dr. Yang is the evaluation of practice patterns and outcomes for patients 70 years and older who have different types of thoracic cancers. This work has led to a better understanding of the role of surgery for older adults. The future goals of Dr. Yang’s team include the design of innovative perioperative interventions for older adults undergoing surgery for thoracic cancers.
- Yang CF, Yan B, Gulack BC, Speicher P, Meyerhoff RR, Hartwig MG, D’Amico TA, Harpole DH, Berry MF. Impact of Age on Long-term Outcomes of Surgery for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma. Clinical Lung Cancer. 2016; 17(5):419-426. PMID: 27236386
- Yang CJ, Brown A, Deng J, Lui N, Backhus L, Shrager J, D’Amico T, Berry MF. The Oldest Old: A National Analysis of Outcomes for Patients 90 Years or Older with Non-small-cell Lung Cancer. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2019; 109(2):350-357. PMID: 31757356
- Yang CJ, Wang Y, Raman V, Lui N, Backhus L, Shrager J, Berry MF, Liou D. A National Analysis of Treatment Patterns and Outcomes for Patients 80 Years or Older with Esophageal Cancer. Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. 2021; 33(3):884-892. PMID: 32977014
Evaluating Outcomes of Surgical Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Dr. Yang's clinical experience taking care of and operating on patients with COVID-19 has impacted his research focus during the pandemic. He has led national analyses that have helped clarify the optimal timing of surgery for patients who have developed and recovered from COVID-19 as well as helped elucidate the impact of delayed treatment for patients with lung cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Deng JZ, Chan JS, Potter AL, Chen YW, Sandhu HS, Panda N, Chang DC, Yang CJ. The Risk of Postoperative Complications following Major Elective Surgery in Active or Resolved COVID-19 in the United States. Annals of Surgery. 2021. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 34793348
- Mayne NR, Elser H, Darling AJ, Raman V, Liou D, Colson YL, D’Amico TA, Yang CJ. Estimating the Impact of Extended Delay to Surgery for Stage I Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer on Survival. Annals of Surgery. 2021. 273(5): 850-857. PMID: 33630435
- Mayne NR, Lin BK, Darling AJ, Raman V, Patel DC, Liou DZ, D'Amico TA, Yang CJ. Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy Versus Delayed Surgery for Early-stage Non-small-cell Lung Cancer. Annals of Surgery. 2020. 272(6):925-929. PMID: 33074904
Prospective Trials to Improve Clinical Practice and Patient Outcomes
Dr. Yang previously led a multidisciplinary team that evaluated sleep in patients with leukemia, and surgical outcomes for patients receiving ipilimumab prior to surgery, which was the first-ever study of surgical outcomes after immunotherapy for lung cancer. The team’s goals are to lead innovative clinical trials and prospective studies that can change surgical practice and improve patient outcomes. Dr. Yang is currently performing the following prospective studies:
- Using machine learning analysis of physiologic data collected from wearables to quantify recovery and to predict postoperative complications before symptom onset
- Using a virtual reality and olfactory stimuli multimodal intervention to reduce postoperative pain and anxiety
- Yang CF, Aibel K, Meyerhoff RR, Wang F, Harpole DH, Abernethy AP, LeBlanc TW. Assessment of Sleep Quality Among Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia During Induction Chemotherapy. BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care. 2018; 8(3):274-277. PMID: 29643104
- Yang CF, McSherry F, Mayne NR, Wang X, Berry MF, Tong B, Harpole DH, D’Amico TA, Christensen J, Ready N, Klapper J. Surgical Outcomes after Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy and Ipilimumab for Non-small Cell Lung Cancer. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2018; 105(3):924-929
Research by Mentees
One of Dr. Yang’s highest priorities is to support medical student- and resident-led research. Many of Dr. Yang’s mentees have first-authored papers in high-impact journals (highlights are listed below) and have presented at prestigious conferences.
- Raman V, Jawitz OK, Voigt SL, Rhodin KE, D'Amico TA, Harpole DH, Yang CJ [co-senior author], Tong BC. The Effect of Tumor Size and Histology on Outcomes Following Segmentectomy vs. Lobectomy for Clinically Node-negative Non-small Cell Lung Cancer. Chest. 2021; 159(1):390-400. PMID: 32652096
- Mayne NR, Lin BK, Darling AJ, Raman V, Patel D, Liou D, D’Amico TA, Yang CJ. Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy Versus Delayed Surgery for Early Stage Non-small-cell Lung Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Annals of Surgery. 2020. 272(6):925-929. PMID: 33074904
- Mayne NR, Elser H, Darling AJ, Raman V, Liou D, Colson YL, D’Amico TA, Yang CJ. Estimating the Impact of Extended Delay to Surgery for Stage I Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer on Survival: Lessons for the COVID-19 Pandemic. Annals of Surgery. 2021. 273(5): 850-857. PMID: 33630435
- Kumar A, Kumar S, Gilja S, Potter AL, Raman V, Muniappan A, Liou DZ, Yang CJ. Reconsidering the American Joint Committee on Cancer Eighth Edition TNM Staging Manual Classifications for T2b and T3 NSCLC. Journal of Thoracic Oncology. 2021; 16(10):1672-1683. PMID: 34242788
- Deng JZ, Chan JS, Potter AL, Chen YW, Sandhu HS, Panda N, Chang DC, Yang CJ. The Risk of Postoperative Complications Following Major Elective Surgery in Active or Resolved COVID-19 in the United States. Annals of Surgery. 2021. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 34793348
- Potter AL, Yang CJ [co-first author], Woolpert KM, Puttaraju T, Suzuki K, Palmer JR. Evaluating Eligibility of US Black Women Under USPSTF Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines. JAMA Oncology. 2021 [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 34817564
Mentorship and Training
Dr. Yang is excited to work with surgical residents, post-doctoral fellows, medical students and undergraduate students. He has been recognized for his teaching at Duke University, where he received the Appleseed Teaching Award in 2018, and at Harvard Medical School, where he received the Charles McCabe Faculty Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 2021. Dr. Yang’s current mentees in medical school and residency include:
- Judith Amores, PhD, research fellow, Massachusetts General Hospital
- Jalen Benson, BS, medical student, Harvard Medical School
- Jorind Beqari, MD, research fellow, Massachusetts General Hospital
- Jessica Copeland, MD, research fellow, Massachusetts General Hospital
- John Deng, BS, medical student, UCLA Medical School
- Arvind Kumar, BS, medical student, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
- Keni Lin, BS, medical student, University of Arizona College of Medicine
- Arian Mansur, AB, medical student, Harvard Medical School
- Camille Mathey-Andrews, MD, resident, Massachusetts General Hospital
- Nicholas Mayne, MD, resident, Duke University School of Medicine
- Ryan Meyerhoff, MD, PhD, resident, Duke University School of Medicine
- Nikhil Panda, MD, MPH, resident, Massachusetts General Hospital
- Vignesh Raman, MD, MHS, resident, Duke University School of Medicine
- Shivani Shah, BS, medical student, Harvard Medical School
- Danny Wang, MD, resident, Massachusetts General Hospital
- Yoyo Wang, BS, medical student, University of Michigan Medical School
About Chi-Fu Jeffrey Yang, MD
Chi-Fu Jeffrey Yang, MD, is an attending thoracic surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital and Assistant Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. He received his medical degree in 2011 from Harvard Medical School after receiving a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Harvard University and completing a Fulbright Fellowship (2005-06) and a Howard Hughes Medical Research Fellowship (2009-10). He completed his general surgery residency at Duke University Medical Center (2011-2018). During his residency, Dr. Yang received the American College of Surgeons Research Fellowship, served as an administrative chief resident and was recognized for exceptional accomplishment in both clinical care (he was twice the recipient of Gold Stars) and teaching (Appleseed Teaching Award). In 2020, he completed his cardiothoracic surgery fellowship at Stanford University School of Medicine and received several awards for clinical and research excellence, including the WTSA Norman Shumway Best Presentation Award, the AATS Foundation Surgical Robotics Fellowship and the Thoracic Surgery Residents Association/STS Traveling Fellowship, which he completed at Toronto General Hospital.
At Mass General, Dr. Yang practices all aspects of thoracic surgery, including procedures for benign and malignant conditions of the lung, esophagus, mediastinum and chest wall. He specializes in minimally invasive techniques, including using VATS and robotic approaches. As an attending thoracic surgeon at Mass General, he is known for his dedication to patient care and clinical teaching. In 2021, he received the Harvard Medical School Charles McCabe Faculty Prize for Excellence in Teaching.
Dr. Yang’s research focus is in the field of thoracic oncology. He is the recipient of the 2021 AATS Foundation Surgical Investigator Award and in 2022, he received a $3.9 million NIH R01 grant as co-principal investigator and project leader. He has served as first- or senior author on several high-impact papers published in the British Medical Journal, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Nature Medicine, JAMA Oncology, Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Journal of Thoracic Oncology, Annals of Surgery, Chest, Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery and Annals of Thoracic Surgery. He has over 120 publications, including over 60 as first- or senior-author. Dr. Yang’s mentees have given over 20 podium presentations at national and international conferences, including at the annual meetings of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, Society of Thoracic Surgeons, European Society of Thoracic Surgeons, and the IASLC World Conference on Lung Cancer.
Dr. Yang serves in several leadership roles in the thoracic surgery field. He is vice chair of the Alliance Thoracic Surgery Group, an advisory board member of the Staging and Prognostic Factors Committee and a member of the Screening and Early Detection Committee of the IASLC. He is an editorial board member of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, the Journal of Thoracic Diseases, and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Online Curriculum. He is an associate editor for Pearson’s General Thoracic Surgery. In addition, he is a reviewer for several journals, including for Journal of Clinical Oncology, Lancet Respiratory Medicine, JAMA Oncology, Annals of Surgery, Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery and Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
Dr. Yang is actively involved in efforts to raise awareness about lung cancer and lung cancer screening through the American Lung Cancer Screening Initiative (ALCSI), a 501(c)(3) non-profit that he founded in 2018. He has worked with communities across 50 states to highlight the importance of lung cancer screening and ALCSI’s efforts have been recognized by mayors through official mayoral proclamations from all 50 states in the U.S. In 2020 and 2021, he co-drafted resolutions, S. Res. 780 and S. Res. 426, to raise awareness for lung cancer and lung cancer screening that passed in the U.S. Senate, by unanimous support from all 100 U.S. senators. In 2021, he received the Harvard Medical School Dean's Community Service Faculty Award in recognition of his efforts.
Related News and Articles
- Patient Education
- May | 4 | 2021
The Lung Cancer Forum, supported by the Division of Thoracic Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, is an initiative that brings medical experts together with the shared goal of furthering education, conversation and coordinated action around the topic of lung cancer.
- Patient Education
- Jul | 26 | 2023
In recognition of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Massachusetts General Hospital physicians answer common questions related to lung cancer.