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Melisa Wong , MD, MAS, AGSF

Wong, Melisa

Melisa Wong, MD, MAS, AGSF is a Research Scientist in the Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California and Associate Adjunct Professor in the Division of Geriatrics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Wong is a thoracic medical oncologist and geriatric oncology clinician-investigator. Her research program aims to transform cancer care for older adults — to help patients clarify their goals and values in the face of uncertainty and to support oncologists to keep these truths at the core of the care they provide. Dr. Wong is a National Institute on Aging Beeson K76 scholar and is especially interested in improving the care of older adults with lung cancer.

Dr. Wong completed medical school and training in internal medicine and medical oncology at UCSF. In addition, she completed advanced research training as an Aging Research Fellow in the UCSF Division of Geriatrics and earned her Master’s Degree in Clinical Research in the UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Nationally, Dr. Wong serves in a number of geriatric oncology leadership positions including the American Society of Clinical Oncology Geriatric Oncology Community of Practice and Geriatric Oncology Education Committee, Cancer and Aging Research Group Health Services Core, and Editorial Board for the Journal of Geriatric Oncology.

Current positions

  • Research Scientist II, Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California
  • Associate Physician, Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center
  • Associate Adjunct Professor, Division of Geriatrics, University of California, San Francisco


Primary research interests

  • Geriatric oncology
  • Lung cancer
  • Patient-centered outcomes and treatment tolerability
  • Shared decision making and communication


Lung cancer in older adults: Treatment experience through the patient’s lens (Lens Study)

This multisite prospective cohort study will characterize changes in patient-centered outcomes including function, cognition, and quality of life among older adults with advanced non-small cell lung cancer receiving chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and/or targeted therapy.

Investigator: Wong, Melisa

Funder: National Institute on Aging

Improving decision making for older adults with cancer: A feasibility pilot study

This is a pilot cluster randomized controlled trial to determine the feasibility and acceptability of training medical oncologists to use the Best Case/Worst Case-Geriatric Oncology communication tool in clinical practice with older adults with cancer (NCT05374304).

Investigator: Wong, Melisa

Funder: National Institute on Aging


Change in four measures of physical function among older adults during lung cancer treatment: A mixed methods cohort study.

Authors: Singhal, Surbhi;Mohile, Supriya G;Wong, Melisa L;et al.

J Geriatr Oncol. 2023 Mar;14(2):101366. doi: 10.1016/j.jgo.2022.08.015. Epub 2022 Sep 1.

PubMed abstract

“You have to be sure that the patient has the full picture”: Adaptation of the Best Case/Worst Case communication tool for geriatric oncology.

Authors: Wong, Melisa L;Nicosia, Francesca M;Smith, Alexander K;Walter, Louise C;Lam, Vivian;Cohen, Harvey Jay;Loh, Kah Poh;Mohile, Supriya G;Ursem, Carling J;Schwarze, Margaret L

J Geriatr Oncol. 2022 Jun;13(5):606-613. doi: 10.1016/j.jgo.2022.01.014. Epub 2022 Feb 2.

PubMed abstract

Changes in older adults’ life space during lung cancer treatment: A mixed methods cohort study.

Authors: Wong, Melisa L;Walter, Louise C;et al.

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2022 Jan;70(1):136-149. doi: 10.1111/jgs.17474. Epub 2021 Oct 5.

PubMed abstract

Immunotherapy in Older Adults With Cancer.

Authors: Presley, Carolyn J;Gomes, Fabio;Burd, Christin E;Kanesvaran, Ravindran;Wong, Melisa L

J Clin Oncol. 2021 Jul 01;39(19):2115-2127. doi: 10.1200/JCO.21.00138. Epub 2021 May 27.

PubMed abstract

Expanding Beyond Maximum Grade: Chemotherapy Toxicity over Time by Age and Performance Status in Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer in CALGB 9730 (Alliance A151729).

Authors: Wong, Melisa L;Wang, Xiaofei;et al.

Oncologist. 2021 Mar;26(3):e435-e444. doi: 10.1002/onco.13527. Epub 2020 Oct 1.

PubMed abstract

Predictors of the multidimensional symptom experience of lung cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.

Authors: Wong, Melisa L;Paul, Steven M;Cooper, Bruce A;Dunn, Laura B;Hammer, Marilyn J;Conley, Yvette P;Wright, Fay;Levine, Jon D;Walter, Louise C;Cartwright, Frances;Miaskowski, Christine

Support Care Cancer. 2017 Jun;25(6):1931-1939. doi: 10.1007/s00520-017-3593-z. Epub 2017 Feb 3.

PubMed abstract

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