soongProfessor Emeritus
Division of Preventive Medicine
Director Emeritus, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Unit
Associate Director Emeritus, Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Seng-jaw Soong died unexpectedly in December 2012.  Dr. Soong was a Senior Leader of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)’s Comprehensive Cancer Center and Director of its Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Facility.  Dr. Soong played a major role in the growth and development of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center and the University.  He served as Associate Director of the Cancer Center for Planning and Evaluation, he established and led the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Facility from 1976 to 2008, and served as Director of the Biostatics Core Facility of the UAB Center for AIDS research.

He collaborated on more than 300 peer reviewed manuscripts of which many were published in prestigious biomedical journals, and was a co-author of the well-recognized textbook Cutaneous Melanoma.  In 1999, he was named the first recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Award at the Comprehensive Cancer Center for his contributions to cancer research and the center. After retirement in 2008, Dr. Soong joined the UAB Division of Preventive Medicine as a Professor Emeritus and continued to provide valuable contributions to the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Facility, the Cancer Center and the Division. Nationally, Dr. Soong was Chairman of the Statistical Task Force for the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) Staging System, served on the AJCC Melanoma Task Force, and served as biostatistical consultant for the Annals of Surgical Oncology. He also served on numerous National Institutes of Health committees.

  • Research Interests
    • Statistical modeling of cancer prognosis

    • Clinical trials

    • Survival data analysis

    • Multivariate modeling and personalized medicine

  • Educational Background
    • University of Alabama at Birmingham, Ph.D. Biostatistics, 1976

    • Oregon State University, M.S. Statistics, 1970

    • Taiwan National Chengchi University, B.S., Statistics, 1966

  • Professional Activities
    • Biostatistics Consultant Editor, Annals of Surgical Oncology (January 2009-present)

    • American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC):

    • Chair and Member, Statistical Task Force (1999-present)

    • Vice-Chair and Member, Melanoma Task Force (1999-present)

    • AJCC Molecular Modeler Work Group (2009-present)

    • AJCC Informatics Committee (2010-present)

    • Sentinel Lymph Node Working Group International Network (2008-present) - Biostatistics Consultant

    • Served on numerous national committees, including NIH-NCI Cancer Center Core Support Grant Review Committee (1987-1991), NIH Program Project Review Committees (1992-2001), NCI Cancer Biomedical Informatics (caBIG) Strategic Planning Committee (2004-2007), and numerous other NIH committees and pharmaceutical industry  Data Safety Monitoring Boards (DSMB) and Advisory Committees.

  • Publications
    • Mayo MS, Mahnken JD, Soong SJ. Optimal designs for two-arm, phase II clinical trial design with multiple constraints. Journal of Biopharmaceutical Statistics, Jan;20(1):106-24, 2010.

    • Balch CM, Gershenwald JE, Soong SJ, Thompson JF, Ding S, Byrd DR, Cascinelli N, Cochran AJ, Coit DG, Eggermont AM, Johnson T, Kirkwood JM, Leong SP, McMasters KM, Mihm MC Jr, Morton DL, Ross MI, Sondak VK. Multivariate analysis of prognostic factors among 2313 patients with stage III melanoma: comparison of nodal micrometastases versus macrometastases. Journal of Clinical Oncology, May 10;28 (14):2452-9, 2010.

    • Gershenwald JE, Soong SJ, Balch CM, and the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) Melanoma Staging Committee. 2010 TNM staging system for cutaneous melanoma…and beyond. Annals of Surgical Oncolology, Jun;17(6):1475-7, 2010.

    • Wiener M, Acland KM, Shaw HM, Soong SJ, Lin HY, Chen DT, Scolyer RA, Winstanley JB, Thompson JF: Sentinel node positive melanoma patients: Prediction and prognostic significance of non-sentinel node metastases and development of a survival tree model. Annals of Surgical Oncology, Aug;17(8):1995-2005, 2010.

    • Soong SJ, Ding S, Coit D, Balch CM, Gershenwald JE, Thompson JF, Gimotty P, and the AJCC Melanoma Task Force: Predicting survival outcome of localized melanoma: an electronic prediction tool based on the AJCC melanoma database. Annals of Surgical Oncology, Aug;17(8):2006-14, 2010.

    • Balch CM, Mihm MC, Gershenwald JE, Soong SJ. The revised melanoma staging system and the impact of mitotic rate: Highlights from the 7th edition American Joint Committee on Cancer. The Melanoma Letter, Fall, Vol. 28, No. 3, 2010.

    • Leong SPL, Gershenwald JE, Soong SJ, Schadendorf D, Tarhini AA, Agarwala S, Hauschild A, Soon CWM, Daub A,and Kashani-Sabet M. Contributed article: American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) melanoma staging system and predictive models to reflect the biology and outcomes of melanoma patients. InCutaneous Melanoma: A Model to Study Cancer Metastasis. Journal of Surgical Oncology, 103:538-549, 2011.

    • Thompson JF, Soong SJ, Balch CM, Gershenwald JE, Ding S, Coit DG, Flaherty K, Gimotty P, Johnson T, Johnson M, Leong SP, Ross MI, Byrd DR, Cascinelli N, Cochran AJ, Eggermont AM, McMasters MM, Mihm, Jr MC, Morton DL, Sondak VK. Prognostic significance of mitotic rate in localized primary cutaneous melanoma: an analysis of patients in the multi-institutional American Joint Committee on Cancer melanoma staging database. Journal of Clinical Oncology, June 1;29(16):2199-205, 2011.

    • White RL, Stell VA, Soong SJ, Ding S, Salo JC, Pockag BA, Essner R, Charney K, Avisar E, Hauschild A, Averbook BJ, Garberoglio CA, Vetto JT, Ross MI, Gershenwald JE, Biel M, Chu D, Trisal V, Hoekstra H, Whitman E, Wanebo HJ, DeBonis D, Vezeridis M, Chevinsky A, Kashani-Sabet M, Leong SPL for the Sentinel Lymph Node Working Group. Factors predictive of the status of sentinel and non-sentinel lymph nodes in melanoma from a large, multi-center database. Annals of Surgical Oncology. 2011; June 7. [Epub ahead of print].

    • Balch CM, Gershenwald JE, Soong SJ, Thompson JF. Update on the melanoma staging system: The importance of sentinel node staging and primary tumor mitotic rate. Journal of Surgical Oncology, Sept;104(4):379-85, 2011.


  • Books

    Cutaneous Melanoma (5th Edition). Balch CM, Houghton AN, Sober AJ, Soong SJ, Atkins MB, Thompson JF (Eds). Quality Medical Publishing, Inc., St. Louis, MO; 2009.
    1st Edition (1985), 2nd Edition (1992), 3rd Edition (1998), 4th Edition (2003)

  • Awards & Honors
    • Sigma Xi

    • Honorary Professor, Xian Medical University, Xian, China (1990)

    • First Recipient of the Cancer Center Distinguished Faculty Award – 1999

    • Visiting Professor, China Medical University, Taiwan, 2009-2010.

    • American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) Special Recognition Award – 2010