An NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Yanghee Woo, M.D.

Surgical Oncologist
Clinical Expertise
  • Stomach Cancer and Upper GI Tumors
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • GIST
  • Carcinoid Tumors
  • Robotic Gastrectomy
  • Retroperitoneal Lymphadenomy
  • Pancreatectomy
  • Splenectomy
Research Focus
  • Improving minimally invasive surgical approaches for treating gastric cancers
  • Identifying gastric cancer molecular markers for better treatment planning
  • Enhancing clinical and quality-of-life outcomes for gastric cancer patients
Director, Gastroenterology Minimally Invasive Therapy Program; Associate Clinical Professor, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery
Referring Physicians/Colleagues: 626-218-0220
Email: [email protected]
Other Languages Spoken
  • English
  • Korean

Clinical Teams

Yanghee Woo, M.D., is a surgeon scientist specially trained and internationally recognized in robotic surgery and gastric cancer. She has particular expertise in complex procedures such as D2 lymphadenectomy for locally advanced gastric cancer. Dr. Woo offers her patients completely laparoscopic and robotic surgeries (for stomach and pancreas tumors) with optimal oncologic outcomes while preserving patients' quality of life. She is one of very few surgeons who treat gastric cancer and pancreatic cancer using minimally invasive methods.

In addition to her clinical practice, Dr. Woo is also actively researching better ways to detect, treat and prevent gastric cancer. This includes improving robotic and laparoscopic surgeries, enhancing early detection and prevention efforts in high risk populations, and identifying biological, molecular and genetic markers that can lead to better treatment planning. As a translational member of the laboratory of Yuman Fong, M.D., she is part of the City of Hope team working to soon bring novel oncolytic viruses to our patients to cure cancer.


City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, 1500 East Duarte Road

Duarte, CA 91010

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  1. Woo Y, Son T, Song K, Okumura N, Hu Y, Cho GS, Kim JW, Choi SH, Noh SH, Hyung WJ. A Novel Prediction Model of Prognosis after Gastrectomy for Gastric Carcinoma: Development and Validation using Asian Databases. Accepted for publication in Annals of Surgery August 5, 2015.
  2. Lee J, Kim YM, Woo Y, Obama K, Noh SH, Hyung JJ.  Robotic distal subtotal gastrectomy with D2 lymphadenectomy for gastric cancer patients with high body mass index: comparison with conventional laparoscopic distal subtotal gastrectomy with D2 lymadenectomy. Surg. Endosc. 2015 Jan 29. [Epub ahead of print]
  3. Rosenblatt R, Dorfman V, Epelboym I, Poneros JM, Sethi A, Lightdale C, Woo Y, Gress FG, Allendorf JD, Schrope BA, Chabot JA, Gonda TA. Demographic Features and Natural History of Intermediate-Risk Multifocal Versus Unifocal Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasms. Pancreas. 2015; 44(3):478-83.
  4. Woo Y, Choi GH, Min BS, Hyung WJ. Novel application of simultaneous multi-image display during complex robotic abdominal procedures. BMC Surg. 2014; 14(1):13
  5. Gawlas I, Epelboym I, Winner M, DiNorcia J, Woo Y, Lee JL, Schrope BA, Chabot JA, Allendorf JD. Short-Term but Not Long-Term Loss of Patency of Venous Reconstruction During Pancreatic Resection Is Associated with Decreased Survival. J Gastrointest Surg. 2014;18(1):75-82
  6. Gunturu KS, Woo Y, Beaubier N, Remotti HE, Saif MW. Gastric cancer and trastuzumab: first biologic therapy in gastric cancer. Ther Adv Med Oncol. 2013 Mar;5(2):143-51.
  7. Oberstein PE, Kenney B, Krishnamoorthy SK, Woo Y, Saif MW. Metastatic gastric large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma: a case report and review of literature. Clin Colorectal Cancer. 2012 Sep;11(3):218-23.
  8. Son T, Inaba K, Woo Y, Pak KH, Hyung WJ, Noh SH. New surgical approach for gastric bezoar: "hybrid access surgery" combined intragastric and single port surgery. J Gastric Cancer. 2011 Dec;11(4):230-3.
  9. Park S, Woo Y, Kim H, Lee YC, Choi S, Hyung WJ, Noh SH. In vitro adenosine triphosphate based chemotherapy response assay in gastric cancer. J Gastric Cancer. 2010 Dec;10(4):155-61.
  10. Woo Y, Hyung WJ, Pak KH, Obama K, Noh SH. Successful cholecystectomy during robotic gastrectomy. Minim Invasive Ther Allied Technol. 2012 Jul;21(4):276-81.
  11. Kim HI, Woo Y, Hyung WJ. Laparoscopic distal gastrectomy with an intracorporeal gastroduodenostomy using a circular stapler. J Am Coll Surg. 2012 Jan;214(1):e7-13.
  12. Woo Y, Hyung WJ, Obama K, Kim HI, Pak KH, Son T, Noh SH. Elevated high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, a marker of advanced stage gastric cancer and postgastrectomy disease recurrence. J Surg Oncol. 2012 Mar 15;105(4):405-9.
  13. Woo Y, Hyung WJ, Kim HI, Obama K, Son T, Noh SH. Minimizing hepatic trauma with a novel liver retraction method: a simple liver suspension using gauze suture. Surg Endosc. 2011 Dec;25(12):3939-45.
  14. Pak KH, Hyung WJ, Son T, Obama K, Woo Y, Kim HI, An JY, Kim JW, Cheong JH, Choi SH, Noh SH. Long-term oncologic outcomes of 714 consecutive laparoscopic gastrectomies for gastric cancer: results from the 7-year experience of a single institute. Surg Endosc. 2012 Jan;26(1):130-6.
  15. Woo Y, Hyung WJ, Pak KH, Inaba K, Obama K, Choi SH, Noh SH. Robotic gastrectomy as an oncologically sound alternative to laparoscopic resections for the treatment of early-stage gastric cancers. Arch Surg. 2011 Sep;146(9):1086-92.
  16. Kelly KJ, Wong J, Gladdy R, Moore-Dalal K, Woo Y, Gonen M, Brennan M, Allen P, Fong Y, Coit D. Prognostic impact of RT-PCR-based detection of peritoneal micrometastases in patients with pancreatic cancer undergoing curative resection. Ann Surg Oncol. 2009 Dec;16(12):3333-9.
  17. Yu YA, Galanis C, Woo Y, Chen N, Zhang Q, Fong Y, Szalay AA. Regression of human pancreatic tumor xenografts in mice after a single systemic injection of recombinant vaccinia virus GLV-1h68. Mol Cancer Ther. 2009 Jan;8(1):141-51
  18. Dalal KM, Woo Y, Kelly K, Galanis C, Gonen M, Fong Y, Coit DG. Detection of micrometastases in peritoneal washings of gastric cancer patients by the reverse  transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Gastric Cancer. 2008;11(4):206-13.
  19. Kelly KJ, Brader P, Woo Y, Li S, Chen N, Yu YA, Szalay AA, Fong Y. Real-time intraoperative detection of melanoma lymph node metastases using recombinant vaccinia virus GLV-1h68 in an immunocompetent animal model. Int J Cancer. 2009 Feb 15;124(4):911-8.
  20. Kelly KJ, Woo Y, Brader P, Yu Z, Riedl C, Lin SF, Chen N, Yu YA, Rusch VW, Szalay AA, Fong Y. Novel oncolytic agent GLV-1h68 is effective against malignant pleural mesothelioma. Hum Gene Ther. 2008 Aug;19(8):774-82.
  21. Riedl CC, Brader P, Zanzonico PB, Chun YS, Woo Y, Singh P, Carlin S, Wen B, Ling CC, Hricak H, Fong Y. Imaging hypoxia in orthotopic rat liver tumors with iodine 124-labeled iodoazomycin galactopyranoside PET. Radiology. 2008 Aug;248(2):561-70.
  22. Woo Y, Kelly KJ, Stanford MM, Galanis C, Chun YS, Fong Y, McFadden G. Myxoma virus is oncolytic for human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells. Ann Surg Oncol. 2008 Aug;15(8):2329-35
  23. Lin SF, Yu Z, Riedl C, Woo Y, Zhang Q, Yu YA, Timiryasova T, Chen N, Shah JP, Szalay AA, Fong Y, Wong RJ. Treatment of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma in vitro with a mutant vaccinia virus. Surgery. 2007 Dec;142(6):976-83; discussion 976-83.
  24. Brader P, Riedl CC, Woo Y, Ponomarev V, Zanzonico P, Wen B, Cai S, Hricak H,  Fong Y, Blasberg R, Serganova I. Imaging of hypoxia-driven gene expression in an orthotopic liver tumor model. Mol Cancer Ther. 2007 Nov;6(11):2900-8.
  25. Dalal KM, Woo Y, Galanis C, Gonen M, Tang L, Allen P, DeMatteo R, Fong Y, Coit DG. Detection of micrometastases in peritoneal washings of pancreatic cancer patients by the reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. J Gastrointest Surg. 2007 Dec;11(12):1598-605; discussion 1605-6.
  26. Riedl CC, Brader P, Zanzonico P, Reid V, Woo Y, Wen B, Ling CC, Hricak H, Fong Y, Humm JL. Tumor hypoxia imaging in orthotopic liver tumors and peritoneal metastasis: a comparative study featuring dynamic 18F-MISO and 124I-IAZG PET in the same study cohort. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2008 Jan;35(1):39-46
  27. Woo Y, Adusumilli PS, Fong Y. Advances in oncolytic viral therapy. Curr Opin Investig Drugs. 2006 Jun;7(6):549-59. Review.


  1. Y Woo and Y Fong, Chapter 8 Robotic GI Surgery in 13th Ed Edited by Michael J Zinner and Stanley W. Ashley. In Print.
  2. T Gonda and Y Woo, Chapter 60 “Miscellaneous Diseases of the Stomach,” in Yamada’s Textbook of Gastroenterology. Ed by Tadataka Yamada. Wiley Blackwell. 2014
  3. K Obama, Y Woo and WJ Hyung. Chapter "Robotic Assisted Gastrectomy with Lymph Node Dissection”, Master Techniques in General Surgery: Foregut Surgery, by Michael Nussbaum, MD and James Luketich, MD. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2013.
  4. Y Woo, Chapter “Robotic Cholecystectomy,” Atlas of Upper Gastrointestinal and Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Surgery. 2nd Edition by Clavien, Sarr, Myazaki, Fong: Springer In print
  5. WJ Hyung and Y Woo, Chapter “Robotic Gastrectomy for Gastric Cancer,” Atlas of Upper Gastrointestinal and Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Surgery. 2nd Edition.  By Clavien, Sarr, Myazaki, Fong: Springer In print
  6. WJ Hyung and Y Woo, Chapter 9 “ Robotic Surgery for Gastric Cancer,” Robotics in General Surgery. 1st Edition. By Keith Chae Kim: Springer. 2014
  7. Y Woo. Chapter 6. Liver, Biliary System, and Spleen. First Aid for the ABSITE, 1st Ed.  New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008.

Invited Lectures:

  1. “Starting a Robotic Gastric Cancer Program,” “Video Presentation of Lessons Learned from First Robotic Gastrectomy D2 Lymphadenectomy,” and “Does the Size of an Incision Make a Difference” at the 11th IGCC, Sao Paulo, Brazil, June 4-6, 2015
  2. “Update on Gastric Cancer Treatment,” Holy Name Medical Center CME course. Englewood Cliffs, NJ USA Sept. 23, 2014
  3. “Gastric Cancer, a Disease of Ethnic Disparities,” KAMA National Convention, Honolulu, Hawaii. USA August 6, 2014
  4. “Minimally Invasive Surgery for Gastric Cancer,” Third Annual Peter Stephens Symposium on Innovations in Digestive Care Course, New York, NY USA, April 10, 2014
  5. “Advances in Surgery for Gastric Cancer,” Second Annual Update on Gastrointestinal Cancers, New York, NY USA September 27, 2103
  6. “Robotic Gastric Cancer Surgery for the Obese and Aged,” 7th International Symposium of Yonsei Live/ World Robotic Society Meeting, Seoul Korea, August 2013
  7. “Robotics in Advanced Abdominal Cancer Surgery,” John Jones Society’s 13th Annual Spring Meeting, New Technology in Surgery. New York, NY USA May 10, 2013
  8. “Gastric Cancer in North America,” First PanAmerican Congress of Gastric Cancer, Porto Alegre, Brazil, September 6-9, 2012
  9. “Robotic Gastric Cancer Surgery in Americans,” 6th International Symposium of Yonsei Live/ World Robotic Society Meeting – 2012, Seoul Korea, August 2012
  10. “Starting a Robotic Surgical Oncology Program,” 5th International Symposium of Multi-specialty Live Surgery – Yonsei Live 2011, Seoul, Korea. August 25-27, 2011
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