Dr. Dai Tong

Tong Dai

Medical Oncology

Specializing In:

Clinical Trials Drug Development Immunotherapy

Special Interests:

Cancer Biology Cancer Immunology Early phase clinical trial Phase II/III clinical trial

About Tong Dai


I graduated from Shanghai Medical University and later came to the U.S. and obtained a PhD in molecular biology at the Medical College of Ohio. I researched cancer biology at the University of Pennsylvania and then at Yale University as a postdoctoral associate. I completed an internal medicine residency program at the Yale-affiliated hospital of Saint Raphael and trained at Einstein/Montefiore Medical Center during a hematology and oncology fellowship. After that, I joined Cornell University Medical College and New York-Presbyterian Hospital as an Assistant Professor specializing in GI cancers, and clinical investigator involved in both clinical and translational research. I was the Cornell site PI for several early and late phase clinical trials, including the phase 1 CXCR4 inhibitor AMD3100/Plerixafor immunotherapy trial and wrote the protocol for an investigator-initiated trial (IIT) of high-dose IV vitamin C in solid tumors, which subsequently won a SU2C award for Cornell. In 2017, I left Cornell and joined Merck as a Director of Oncology Research and led several global Phase I-III immuno-oncology trials, including Keynote 177 and 164 in MSI-H colorectal cancer, and Keynote 651 in non-MSI-H CRC. Most recently, I led the designing and protocol writing of a Phase III study of combinational immunotherapy vs standard of care chemotherapy in third-line non-MSI-H CRC.

Although developing novel immunotherapy at Merck for cancer patients with high unmet needs was very gratifying, I missed direct patient care. Thus, I returned to academia and joined Roswell Park on 8/1/2019 to focus on head and neck cancer patient care and clinical/translational research. I will also provide care for patients with head and neck, and colorectal cancers, as well as, participating in the running of phase I program to investigate safety and early efficacy of new drugs and combinations.


Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

  • Associate Professor, Division of GI Oncology
  • Associate Director, Early Phase Clinical Trial
  • Associate Director for Solid Tumor, Center for Early Phase Clinical Trials

Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo

  • Associate Professor
  • Department of Medicine


Education and Training:

  • PhD - Molecular Biology, Medical College of Ohio, Toledo, Ohio
  • MD - Shanghai Medical University, China


  • Hospital of Saint Raphael (Yale New Haven Hospital Chapel Campus), New Haven, CT


  • Montefiore Medical Center/Einstein School of Medicine, Bronx, NY

Board Certification:

  • American Board of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine
  • American Board of Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology

Professional Memberships:

  • American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
  • Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology Committee of Overseas Experts (CSCO - COE)
  • European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO)

Professional Experience:

  • Director, Oncology Clinical Development, Merck Research Laboratory, Rahway, NJ
  • Assistant Professor, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY
  • Member, Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center, New York, NY

Honors & Awards:

  • 2009 - Chairperson and Invited Speaker, “Notch Signaling and Cancer,” American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual meeting, Denver, CO
  • 2001 - American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) graduate student travel award for Experimental Biology meeting, Orlando, FL

Clinical Trials


Full Publications list on PubMed
  1. Le D; Kim, TW; Van Cutsem E; Geva R; Jaeger D; Hara H; Burge M; O’Neill B; Kavan P; Yoshino T; Guimbaud R; Taniguchi H; Elez E; Al-Batran SE; Boland PM; Crocenzi T; Altreya CE; Liang LW; Marinello P; Dai T; Diaz L; Andre T. A phase 2, open-label, study of single agent pembrolizumab in treatment refractory mismatch repair deficient metastatic colorectal cancer: the KEYNOTE-164 study. Submitted to J Clin Oncol. Aug 2019.
  2. Klute KA, Brouwer J, Jhawer M, Sachs H, Gangadin A, Ocean A, Popa E, Dai T, Wu G, Christos P, Shah MA. Chemotherapy dose intensity predicted by baseline nutrition assessment in gastrointestinal malignancies: A multicentre analysis. Eur J Cancer. 2016 Aug;63:189-200.
  3. Ng J and Dai T, Radiation Therapy and the Abscopal Effect: A Concept Comes of Age (Editorial). Annals of Translational Medicine, 2016;4(6):118.
  4. Dai T, Shah MA. Chemoradiation in Esophageal Cancer. Best Practice & Research: Clinical Gastroenterology. 2015 Feb;29(1):193-209.
  5. Dai T, Popa E, Shah MA. The Role of 18F-FDG PET Imaging in Upper Gastrointestinal Malignancies. Curr Treat Options Oncol. 2014 Sep;15(3):351-64.