Deborah J. Wong, MD, PhD

Deborah Wong, MD, PhD

Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology





Hematology & Medical Oncology, UCLA School of Medicine, 2013


Internal Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine, 2007


PhD, University of California, Irvine, CA, 2000
MD, University of California, Irvine, CA, 1998
BS, California State University, Los Angeles, CA, 1994


Internal Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, 2014

Board Certifications

Medical Oncology, American Board of Internal Medicine, 2013
Hematology, American Board of Internal Medicine, 2013
Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine, 2009

Contact Information

Scientific Interests

As the Director of the Head and Neck Medical Oncology Program at UCLA, Dr. Wong leads the translational and clinical research in head and neck cancers for the UCLA Division of Hematology-Oncology. In addition to caring for patients with advanced solid tumors, including head and neck cancer, the focus of her research is in identification of novel therapeutics for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and in understanding mechanisms of resistance to existing therapies. To this end, Dr. Wong currently serves as institutional principal investigator of over active 30 investigator-initialed and industry-sponsored clinical trials, resulting in publication in peer-reviewed manuscripts and presentations at various national and international society meetings.

Highlighted Publications

Sacco AG, Chen R, Worden FP, Wong DJL, Adkins D, Swiecicki P, Chai-Ho W, Oppelt P, Ghosh D, Bykowski J, Molinolo A, Pittman E, Estrada MV, Gold K, Daniels G, Lippman SM, Natsuhara A, Messer K, Cohen EEW. Pembrolizumab plus cetuximab in patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: an openlabel, multi-arm, non-randomised, multicentre, phase 2 trial. Lancet Oncol. 2021 Jun;22(6):883-892. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(21)00136-4.

Cohen, EEW, Nabell, L, Wong DJ, Day T, Daniels G, Milhem M, Deva S, Jameson M, Guntinas-Lichius O, Almubarak M, Strother R, Whitman E, Chisamore M, Obiozor C, Bagulho T, Romo J, Guiducci C, Janssen R, Gamelin E, and Algazi A. Intralesional SD- 101 in combination with pembrolizumab in anti-PD-1 treatment naive head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: results from a multicenter, phase 2 trial. Clinical Cancer Research 2022. Mar 15: 28(6):1157-1166.

Brauer ER, Lazaro S, Williams CL, Rapkin DA, Madnick AB, Dafter R, Cheng G, Porter A, Abemayor E, Chai-Ho W, Morasso E, Erman A, Chhetri D, St John M, Wong DJ. Implementing a tailored psychoscial distress screening protocol in a head and neck cancer program. Laryngoscope. 2022 Aug; 132 (8):1600-1608.

Yilmaz E, Ismaila N, Bauman JE, Dabney R, Gan G, Jordan R, Kaufman M, Kirtane K, McBride SM, Old MO, Rooper L, Saba NF, Sheth S, Subramaniam RM, Wise-Draper TM, Wong D, Mell LK. Immunotherapy and Biomarker Testing in Recurrent and Metastatic Head and Neck Cancers: ASCO Guideline. J Clin Oncol. 2023 Feb 10;41(5):1132-1146. doi: 10.1200/JCO.22.02328. Epub 2022 Dec 15. PMID: 36521102.

Puig-Saus C, Sennino B, Peng S, Wang CL, Pan Z, Yuen B, Purandare B, An D, Quach BB, Nguyen D, Xia H, Jilani S, Shao K, McHugh C, Greer J, Peabody P, Nayak S, Hoover J, Said S, Jacoby K, Dalmas O, Foy SP, Conroy A, Yi MC, Shieh C, Lu W, Heeringa K, Ma Y, Chizari S, Pilling MJ, Ting M, Tunuguntla R, Sandoval S, Moot R, Hunter T, Zhao S, Saco JD, PerezGarcilazo I, Medina E, Vega-Crespo A, Baselga-Carretero I, Abril- Rodriguez G, Cherry G, Wong DJ, Hundal J, Chmielowski B, Speiser DE, Bethune MT, Bao XR, Gros A, Griffith OL, Griffith M, Heath JR, Franzusoff A, Mandl SJ, Ribas A. Neoantigen-targeted CD8 + T cell responses with PD-1 blockade therapy. Nature. 2023 Mar;615(7953):697-704. doi: 10.1038/s41586-023- 05787-1. Epub 2023 Mar 8. PMID: 36890230; PMCID: PMC10441586.