Hak Choy, M.D.
Hak Choy, M.D.

Hak Choy, M.D.

  • The Nancy B. & Jake L. Hamon Distinguished Chair in Therapeutic Oncology Research
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Radiation Therapy for Lung Cancer
  • Radiation Therapy for Esophageal Cancer

Biography

In the course of more than 30 years as a radiation oncologist, Hak Choy, M.D., FASTRO, has worked with almost every new compound that has been developed to combine with radiation, and has distinguished himself as a world-leading expert in chemoradiation therapy.

Dr. Choy is Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at UT Southwestern and holds the Nancy B. and Jake L. Hamon Distinguished Chair in Therapeutic Oncology Research. He graduated from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and completed a residency in internal medicine/radiation oncology at Ohio State, as well as a residency in radiation oncology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. 

Dr. Choy is board certified in therapeutic radiology and was Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Vanderbilt University before joining UT Southwestern as department chair in 2003. He has been the prime motivator in growing UT Southwestern’s radiation oncology practice to the region’s largest, with two campus locations, including one that opened in 2011.

Dr. Choy is active in the clinic, where he treats patients presenting with small cell lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and metastases of lung cancer to other sites. He continues to be a lead investigator of clinical trials offering new combinations of treatments to patients. 

Dr. Choy currently serves as Chair of the Data Safety Monitoring Board and Vice Chair of the Executive Committee of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG). He is also a member of the board of directors of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC). He is a member of the board of directors of UT Southwestern Health Systems and sits on several other institutional committees. He is a member of the editorial board of Cancer Research and TreatmentClinical Lung Cancer, and other scientific publications, and he has served as reviewer for the New England Journal of Medicine and many others. Dr. Choy holds a patent for the radio-enhanced delivery of camptothecin-derivative drugs for cancer treatment.

In 2018, he was named a Super Doctor by Texas Monthly.

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Meet Dr. Choy

Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology

The expertise of Hak Choy, M.D., is in developing new drugs that will combine well with radiotherapy to improve outcomes for patients, particularly those with lung cancer.

“At the end of the day, making a true impact on survival for the patient relies on how well we control cancer that we see (with radiation) and how well we control cancer that we don’t see (through chemotherapy), and how well both work in combination.”

Dr. Choy is Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology and is known globally for his pioneering work, beginning in the early ’90s, showing the benefit of combining paclitaxel and other chemotherapeutic agents with radiation treatment.

More recently, advancements in technology have impacted day-to-day patient care, particularly for those with lung cancer. Dr. Choy has led the Department of Radiation Oncology at UT Southwestern to become, within a few short years, one of the leading institutions in the country housing all of these technologies, and he has instigated training programs to educate physicians on how to effectively use them in the clinic.

Dr. Choy continues to be active in designing national clinical trials that combine chemotherapy with the latest radiation treatment techniques. He holds numerous committee appointments within the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), the national clinical cooperative group for radiation therapy studies funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

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Education & Training
  • Residency - University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (1989-1991), Radiation Oncology
  • Residency - Ohio State University Hospital (1987-1989), Radiation Oncology
  • Medical School - University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (1983-1987)
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • Journal of Clinical Oncology (2004), Member of Editorial Board
  • Cancer Research and Treatment (2002), Member of Editorial Board
  • Yonsei Medical Journal (2002), Member of Editorial Board
  • ALCASE Lung Cancer Manual (2001), Member of Editorial Board
  • American College of Radiology
  • American Radium Society
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Society of Chairs of Academic Radiation Oncology Programs
  • Radiation Research Society
  • Radiation Research and American Radium Society
  • American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology
  • American Association of Cancer Research
  • Investigational New Drug (1998), Member of Editorial Board
  • Contemporary Oncology (2001), Member of Editorial Board
Books & Publications
Research
  • Bench to Clinic in Concurrent Chemoradiation Therapy
  • Spore in Lung Cancer
  • Role of SU5416 And Cox-2 Inhibitors as Radiation Sensitizers in Lung Cancer
  • Role of COX-2 Inhibitors as a Potential Radiation Sensitizer
  • Correlative Studies Using Specimens from Multi-Institutional Prevention and Treatment Trials

Clinical Focus

  • Radiation Therapy for Lung Cancer
  • Radiation Therapy for Esophageal Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Lung Cancer

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Q&A by Hak Choy, M.D.

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