Syed Yousuf Zafar, MD

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medicine
Affiliate, Duke Global Health Institute
Core Faculty Member, Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy
Associate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society
Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
Member in the Duke Clinical Research Institute
Campus mail Duke Box 3505, Durham, NC 27710
Phone (919) 684-8111
Email address

Dr. Zafar is a gastrointestinal medical oncologist and Associate Professor of Medicine, Public Policy, and Population Health Science at the Duke Cancer Institute and Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. He serves as Director of Healthcare Innovation at the Duke Cancer Institute. Dr. Zafar also serves as Clinical Associate Director of Duke Forge (Health Data Science Center). Dr. Zafar is considered an international expert in identifying and intervening upon the financial burden of cancer care. His research explores ways to improve cancer care delivery with a primary focus on improving the value of cancer treatment from both patient-focused and policy perspectives.

Dr. Zafar speaks internationally on his research and cancer care delivery. He has over 100 publications in top peer-reviewed journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of Clinical Oncology, and JAMA Oncology. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society, among others. His work has been covered by national media outlets including New York Times, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Washington Post. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

In Their Words

Education and Training

  • Fellow in Hematology-Oncology, Medicine, Duke University, 2005 - 2008
  • Resident, Medicine, University of Cincinnati, 2002 - 2005
  • M.D., The University of Toledo, 2002


Vlahovic, Gordana, Kellen L. Meadows, Ace J. Hatch, Jingquan Jia, Andrew B. Nixon, Hope E. Uronis, Michael A. Morse, et al. “A Phase I Trial of the IGF-1R Antibody Ganitumab (AMG 479) in Combination with Everolimus (RAD001) and Panitumumab in Patients with Advanced Cancer.” Oncologist 23, no. 7 (July 2018): 782–90.

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Chino, Fumiko, Gita Suneja, Haley Moss, S Yousuf Zafar, Laura Havrilesky, and Junzo Chino. “Health Care Disparities in Cancer Patients Receiving Radiation: Changes in Insurance Status After Medicaid Expansion Under the Affordable Care Act.” In Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys, 101:9–20, 2018.

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Chan, Raymond Javan, Louisa Gordon, Syed Yousuf Zafar, and Christine Miaskowski. “Financial toxicity and symptom burden: what is the big deal?” Support Care Cancer 26, no. 5 (May 2018): 1357–59.

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Tran, George, and S Yousuf Zafar. “Financial toxicity and implications for cancer care in the era of molecular and immune therapies.” Ann Transl Med 6, no. 9 (May 2018): 166.

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Shih, Ya-Chen Tina, Shelley Fuld Nasso, and S Yousuf Zafar. “Price Transparency for Whom? In Search of Out-of-Pocket Cost Estimates to Facilitate Cost Communication in Cancer Care.” Pharmacoeconomics 36, no. 3 (March 2018): 259–61.

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Moss, Haley A., Laura J. Havrilesky, S Yousuf Zafar, Gita Suneja, and Junzo Chino. “Trends in Insurance Status Among Patients Diagnosed With Cancer Before and After Implementation of the Affordable Care Act.” J Oncol Pract 14, no. 2 (February 2018): e92–102.

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Langer, Shelby L., Joan M. Romano, Michael Todd, Timothy J. Strauman, Francis J. Keefe, Karen L. Syrjala, Jonathan B. Bricker, et al. “Links Between Communication and Relationship Satisfaction Among Patients With Cancer and Their Spouses: Results of a Fourteen-Day Smartphone-Based Ecological Momentary Assessment Study.” Front Psychol 9 (2018): 1843.

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