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Melissa Ana Liriano Vyfhuis, MD, PhD

Academic Title:

Visiting Assistant Professor

Primary Appointment:

Radiation Oncology

Education and Training

  • 2001-2005: BS, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, cum laude, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • 2007-2012: PhD, Biochemistry, University of Maryland, School of Medicine
  • 2005-2014: MD, University of Maryland, School of Medicine
  • 2014-2015: Internship, University of Maryland Medical Center, Department of Internal Medicine
  • 2015-2019: Residency, University of Maryland Medical Center, Department of Radiation Oncology
  • 2021: Board Certified in Radiation Oncology

Biosketch

Dr. Vyfhuis is a radiation oncologist who uses radiation therapies to treat cancer sites. She has experience in treating all types of cancers but has a particular interest in treating lung cancer, breast cancer, head and neck cancer, gynecologic cancer, gastrointestinal cancer and sarcomas. 

Dr. Vyfhuis has received specialized training in many types of radiation therapy, including:

  • Proton therapy
  • Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT)
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS)
  • Brachytherapy

She uses the latest technological advances to treat her patients, including proton therapy done at the Maryland Proton Treatment Center. 

Dr. Vyfhuis is dedicated to advancing the field of radiation oncology and has over 30 peer-reviewed publications along with various national presentations. She has also received several grants and awards pertaining to her clinical research. Currently, her clinical research focuses on cancer inequities. She recently received an institutional grant to study the effects of food priority areas on cancer outcomes. 

She received both her post-graduate doctorate and medical degrees from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Vyfhuis went on to complete her internship in Internal Medicine and residency in Radiation Oncology at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Dr. Vyfhuis serves as the Chair for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee in the Department of Radiation Oncology. She is also an active member of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) and is actively involved in the Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Council.

A native Marylander, she enjoys spending time with her family, running and practicing Wushu when not caring for patients.

Research/Clinical Keywords

Cancer inequities, cancer disparities, food priority areas, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, non small cell lung cancer, breast cancer, proton therapy, cancer care equity

Highlighted Publications

Vyfhuis M, Bhooshan N, Molitoris J, Bentzen S, Feliciano J, Edelman M, Burrows W, Nichols E, Suntharalingam M, Donahue J, Nagib M, Carr S, Friedberg J, Badiyan S, Simone II C, Feigenberg S, Mohindra P. Clinical outcomes of black vs. Non-black patients with locally advanced non–small cell lung cancer. Lung Cancer. 2017; 114:44-49

Vyfhuis M, Bentzen S, Bhooshan N, Edelman M, Burrows W, Nichols E, Suntharalingam M, Donahue J, Carr S, Friedberg J, Badiyan S, Simone II C, Feigenberg S, Mohindra P, Feliciano J. Marital status is an independent predictor of survival for stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients undergoing definitive chemoradiation with or without surgery. Journal of Community and Supportive Oncology. September 2018:16(5);e194-e201.

Vyfhuis M, Bentzen S, Molitoris J, Grover S, Badiyan S, Simone II C, Mohindra P. Patterns of Care and Survival in Black and Latino Patients as Compared to White Patients with Stage III Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. Clin Lung Cancer. February 2019; pii: S1525-7304(19)30065-8.

Rice S, Vyfhuis M, Scilla K, Burrows W, Bhooshan N, Suntharalingam M, Edelman M, Feliciano J, Badiyan S, Simone 2nd C, Bentzen S, Feigenberg S, Mohindra P Insurance status is an independent predictor of overall survival in patients with stage III non-small cell lung cancer treated with curative intent. Clin Lung Cancer. August 2019. S1525-7304(19)30258-X.

Haskins CP, Champ CE, Miller Rm Vyfhuis M. Nutrition in Cancer: Evidence and Equality. Review, Advances in Radiation Oncology. 2020; 5, 817-823.

Vyfhuis M, Suzuki I, Bentzen S, Cullen K, Goloubeva O. Adherence to Guidelineā€Concordant Care and Its Effect on Survival in Black Patients with Head and Neck Cancers: A SEERā€Medicare Analysis. 2021; 26(7):579-587.

Dahlia K, Savla B, Lievers A, Baker K, Vyfhuis M. Identifying Psychosocial Needs of Cancer Patients Undergoing Curative Radiation Therapy in an Inner-City Academic Center to Address Racial Disparities. International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics. Oct 2022; 114(2):185-194.

Savla B, Hamza M, Yacubovich D, Cobbs S, Petrovska L., Scilla K, Burrows W, Mehra R, Miller RC, Rolfo C, Bentzen SM, Mohindra P, Vyfhuis M. The impact of Body Mass Index (BMI) and residence in Food Priority Areas (FPAs) on patterns-of-care and cancer outcomes in patients with stage III non-small cell lung cancer. International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics. 2023; Recently Accepted;

Grants and Contracts

2020 – 2023: $30,000 American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant for the project Effects of Food Deserts on Cancer Care and Outcomes for three years. Award number: ACS IRG-18-160-16

Completed Grants:

2009-2012: Ruth L, Kirschstein National Research Service Award recipient (F31) – Grant Number 1F31CA144560 from the National Cancer Institute

  • Annual Direct Costs: $50,000
  • Total Direct Costs: $150,000