S. Yousuf Zafar, MD, MHS

Associate Professor of Medicine
Department / Division:
Medicine / Medicine - Oncology
DUMC 3505
Durham, NC 27710

10 Bryan Searle Drive, Room 432
Durham, NC 27710
Appointment Telephone:
Office Telephone:
  • MD, Medical College of Ohio (University of Toledo College of Medicine), 2002
  • Internal Medicine, University of Cincinnati Medical Center (Ohio), 2002-2005
  • Hematology-Medical Oncology, Duke University Medical Center, 2005-2008
Other Training:
  • MHS, Clinical Research, Duke University, 2009
Clinical Interests:
Gastrointestinal oncology, including pancreatic, esophageal, gastric, and colorectal cancers; research interests in health services, access to colorectal cancer care, supportive care
Research Interests:
Dr. Zafar is a health services researcher with a focus in improving care delivery for patients with advanced cancer. He has obtained advanced training in health services research and has participated in single-institution, multi-institution and national studies focusing on access to care, cost of care, and comparative effectiveness of care delivery between health systems. His primary area of interest is in the cost of cancer care. He has conducted institutional and national studies on how treatment-related costs impact cancer patients' experience. His current work in this arena is focused on patient preferences regarding cost-related communication and decision-making.

A second field of interest is palliative care. Dr. Zafar has collaborated with national and international palliative care leaders to improve the design and delivery of palliative care in cancer clinical trials. Methodologically, this work has centered around systematic literature reviews, iterative surveys, and prospective clinical trials.

Dr. Zafar is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Health Disparities and Clinical Practice Guideline Committees. He is a member of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology's Health Disparities and Health Outcomes Committees. Dr. Zafar's work has been funded by the American Cancer Society, the HealthWell Foundation, the Duke Cancer Prevention and Control Program, the Duke Clinical Research Institute, and the CALGB Foundation.
Representative Publications:
  • Phelan, SM; Griffin, JM; Jackson, GL; Zafar, SY; Hellerstedt, W; Stahre, M; Nelson, D; Zullig, LL; Burgess, DJ; van Ryn, M. Stigma, perceived blame, self-blame, and depressive symptoms in men with colorectal cancer. Psycho-Oncology: journal of the psychological, social and behavioral dimensions of cancer. 2013;22:65-73.  Abstract
  • Uronis, HE; Bendell, JC; Altomare, I; Blobe, GC; Hsu, SD; Morse, MA; Pang, H; Zafar, SY; Conkling, P; Favaro, J; Arrowood, CC; Cushman, SM; Meadows, KL; Brady, JC; Nixon, AB; Hurwitz, HI. A phase II study of capecitabine, oxaliplatin, and bevacizumab in the treatment of metastatic esophagogastric adenocarcinomas. The Oncologist. 2013;18:271-272.  Abstract
  • Zafar, SY; Abernethy, AP. Financial toxicity, Part I: a new name for a growing problem. Oncology. 2013;27:80-149.  Abstract
  • Zafar, SY; Malin, JL; Grambow, SC; Abbott, DH; Kolimaga, JT; Zullig, LL; Weeks, JC; Ayanian, JZ; Kahn, KL; Ganz, PA; Catalano, PJ; West, DW; Provenzale, D; Cancer Care Outcomes Research & Surveillance CanCORS Consortium. Chemotherapy use and patient treatment preferences in advanced colorectal cancer: a prospective cohort study. Cancer. 2013;119:854-862.  Abstract
  • Zafar, SY; Peppercorn, JM; Schrag, D; Taylor, DH; Goetzinger, AM; Zhong, X; Abernethy, AP. The financial toxicity of cancer treatment: a pilot study assessing out-of-pocket expenses and the insured cancer patient's experience. The Oncologist. 2013;18:381-390.  Abstract
  • Currow, DC; Tieman, JJ; Greene, A; Zafar, SY; Wheeler, JL; Abernethy, AP. Refining a checklist for reporting patient populations and service characteristics in hospice and palliative care research. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 2012;43:902-910.  Abstract
  • Palta, M; Patel, P; Broadwater, G; Willett, C; Pepek, J; Tyler, D; Zafar, SY; Uronis, H; Hurwitz, H; White, R; Czito, B. Carcinoma of the ampulla of Vater: patterns of failure following resection and benefit of chemoradiotherapy. Annals of Surgical Oncology. 2012;19:1535-1540.  Abstract
  • Rangwala, F; Zafar, SY; Abernethy, AP. Gastrointestinal symptoms in cancer patients with advanced disease: new methodologies, insights, and a proposed approach. Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care. 2012;6:69-76.  Abstract
  • Strickler, JH; Starodub, AN; Jia, J; Meadows, KL; Nixon, AB; Dellinger, A; Morse, MA; Uronis, HE; Marcom, PK; Zafar, SY; Haley, ST; Hurwitz, HI. Phase I study of bevacizumab, everolimus, and panobinostat (LBH-589) in advanced solid tumors. Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology. 2012;70:251-258.  Abstract
  • Vlahovic, G; Meadows, KL; Uronis, HE; Morse, MA; Blobe, GC; Riedel, RF; Zafar, SY; Alvarez-Secord, A; Gockerman, J; Starodub, AN; Ready, NE; Anderson, EL; Bendell, JC; Hurwitz, HI. A phase I study of bevacizumab, everolimus and panitumumab in advanced solid tumors. Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology. 2012;70:95-102.  Abstract
  • Zafar, SY; Currow, DC; Cherny, N; Strasser, F; Fowler, R; Abernethy, AP. Consensus-based standards for best supportive care in clinical trials in advanced cancer. Lancet Oncology. 2012;13:e77-e82.  Abstract
  • Altomare, I; Bendell, JC; Bullock, KE; Uronis, HE; Morse, MA; Hsu, SD; Zafar, SY; Blobe, GC; Pang, H; Honeycutt, W; Sutton, L; Hurwitz, HI. A phase II trial of bevacizumab plus everolimus for patients with refractory metastatic colorectal cancer. The Oncologist. 2011;16:1131-1137.  Abstract
  • Bullock, KE; Petros, WP; Younis, I; Uronis, HE; Morse, MA; Blobe, GC; Zafar, SY; Gockerman, JP; Lager, JJ; Truax, R; Meadows, KL; Howard, LA; O'Neill, MM; Broadwater, G; Hurwitz, HI; Bendell, JC. A phase I study of bevacizumab (B) in combination with everolimus (E) and erlotinib (E) in advanced cancer (BEE). Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology. 2011;67:465-474.  Abstract
  • Currow, DC; Foley, K; Zafar, SY; Wheeler, JL; Abernethy, AP. The need for a re-evaluation of best supportive care studies reported to date. British Journal of Cancer. 2011;104:390-391.  Abstract
  • Hirsch, BR; Zafar, SY. Capecitabine in the management of colorectal cancer. Cancer Management and Research. 2011;3:79-89.  Abstract
  • Zafar, SY; Malin, JL; Grambow, SC; Abbott, DH; Schrag, D; Kolimaga, JT; Zullig, LL; Weeks, JC; Fouad, MN; Ayanian, JZ; Wallace, R; Kahn, KL; Ganz, PA; Catalano, P; West, DW; Provenzale, D; Cancer Care and Outcomes Research and Surveillance (CanCORS) Consortium. Early dissemination of bevacizumab for advanced colorectal cancer: a prospective cohort study. BMC Cancer. 2011;11:354.  Abstract
  • Abernethy, AP; Ahmad, A; Zafar, SY; Wheeler, JL; Reese, JB; Lyerly, HK. Electronic patient-reported data capture as a foundation of rapid learning cancer care. Medical Care. 2010;48:S32-S38.  Abstract
  • Abernethy, AP; Aziz, NM; Basch, E; Bull, J; Cleeland, CS; Currow, DC; Fairclough, D; Hanson, L; Hauser, J; Ko, D; Lloyd, L; Morrison, RS; Otis-Green, S; Pantilat, S; Portenoy, RK; Ritchie, C; Rocker, G; Wheeler, JL; Zafar, SY; Kutner, JS. A strategy to advance the evidence base in palliative medicine: formation of a palliative care research cooperative group. Journal of Palliative Medicine. 2010;13:1407-1413.  Abstract
  • Abernethy, AP; Wheeler, JL; Zafar, SY. Management of gastrointestinal symptoms in advanced cancer patients: the rapid learning cancer clinic model. Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care. 2010;4:36-45.  Abstract
  • Abernethy, AP; Zafar, SY; Uronis, H; Wheeler, JL; Coan, A; Rowe, K; Shelby, RA; Fowler, R; Herndon, JE. Validation of the Patient Care Monitor (Version 2.0): a review of system assessment instrument for cancer patients. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 2010;40:545-558.  Abstract
  • Bull, J; Zafar, SY; Wheeler, JL; Harker, M; Gblokpor, A; Hanson, L; Hulihan, D; Nugent, R; Morris, J; Abernethy, AP. Establishing a regional, multisite database for quality improvement and service planning in community-based palliative care and hospice. Journal of Palliative Medicine. 2010;13:1013-1020.  Abstract
  • Chrischilles, EA; Pendergast, JF; Kahn, KL; Wallace, RB; Moga, DC; Harrington, DP; Kiefe, CI; Weeks, JC; West, DW; Zafar, SY; Fletcher, RH. Adverse events among the elderly receiving chemotherapy for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2010;28:620-627.  Abstract
  • Jackson, GL; Melton, LD; Abbott, DH; Zullig, LL; Ordin, DL; Grambow, SC; Hamilton, NS; Zafar, SY; Gellad, ZF; Kelley, MJ; Provenzale, D. Quality of nonmetastatic colorectal cancer care in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2010;28:3176-3181.  Abstract
  • Zafar, SY; Currow, DC; Daugherty, CK; Abernethy, AP. Standards for palliative care delivery in oncology settings. The Cancer Journal. 2010;16:436-443.  Abstract
  • Zafar, SY; Marcello, JE; Wheeler, JL; Rowe, KL; Morse, MA; Herndon, JE; Abernethy, AP. Treatment-related toxicity and supportive care in metastatic colorectal cancer. The Journal of Supportive Oncology. 2010;8:15-20.  Abstract
  • Abernethy, AP; Barbour, SY; Uronis, H; Zafar, SY; Coan, A; Rowe, K; Pupa, MR; Wheeler, JL; Herndon, JE. Quality management of potential chemotherapy-induced neutropenic complications: evaluation of practice in an academic medical center. Supportive Care in Cancer. 2009;17:735-744.  Abstract
  • Abernethy, AP; Wheeler, JL; Zafar, SY. Detailing of gastrointestinal symptoms in cancer patients with advanced disease: new methodologies, new insights, and a proposed approach. Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care. 2009;3:41-49.  Abstract
  • Cherny, NI; Abernethy, AP; Strasser, F; Sapir, R; Currow, D; Zafar, SY. Improving the methodologic and ethical validity of best supportive care studies in oncology: lessons from a systematic review. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2009;27:5476-5486.  Abstract
  • Dupont, A; Wheeler, J; Herndon, JE; Coan, A; Zafar, SY; Hood, L; Patwardhan, M; Shaw, HS; Lyerly, HK; Abernethy, AP. Use of tablet personal computers for sensitive patient-reported information. The Journal of Supportive Oncology. 2009;7:91-97.  Abstract
  • Zafar, SY; Alexander, SC; Weinfurt, KP; Schulman, KA; Abernethy, AP. Decision making and quality of life in the treatment of cancer: a review. Supportive Care in Cancer. 2009;17:117-127.  Abstract
  • Zafar, SY; Marcello, JE; Wheeler, JL; Rowe, KL; Morse, MA; Herndon, JE; Abernethy, AP. Longitudinal patterns of chemotherapy use in metastatic colorectal cancer. Journal of Oncology Practice. 2009;5:228-233.  Abstract
  • Zafar, SY; Abernethy, AP; Abbott, DH; Grambow, SC; Marcello, JE; Herndon, JE; Rowe, KL; Kolimaga, JT; Zullig, LL; Patwardhan, MB; Provenzale, DT. Comorbidity, age, race and stage at diagnosis in colorectal cancer: a retrospective, parallel analysis of two health systems. BMC Cancer. 2008;8:345.  Abstract
  • Zafar, SY; Currow, D; Abernethy, AP. Defining best supportive care. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2008;26:5139-5140.  Abstract
  • Zafar, SY; Howell, DN; Gockerman, JP. Malignancy after solid organ transplantation: an overview. The Oncologist. 2008;13:769-778.  Abstract
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