Clinical Focus

  • Fellow
  • Medical Oncology

Honors & Awards

  • Conquer Cancer Merit Award, American Society of Clinical Oncology (2023)
  • Gold Humanism and Excellence in Teaching, Gold Foundation (2019)
  • Best Clinical Teaching by a Medicine Resident, Stanford Internal Medicine (2019)
  • Induction and Member, Alpha Omega Alpha (2015)
  • Doctor John Curtis Kimberly Award, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine (2015)
  • Duane Rath Merit Scholarship, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine (2014-2016)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Member, International Society of Geriatric Oncology (2021 - Present)
  • Member, Cancer and Aging Research Group (2020 - Present)
  • Member, American Society of Clinical Oncology (2019 - Present)

Professional Education

  • Fellowship, Stanford University, Hematology and Oncology
  • Chief Residency, Stanford University, Internal Medicine (2020)
  • Board Certification, American Board of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine (2019)
  • Residency, Stanford University, Internal Medicine (2019)
  • Medical Education, University of Wisconsin, School of Medicine (2016)

All Publications

  • Interventions to improve nutritional status for older patients with cancer - a holistic approach is needed. Current opinion in supportive and palliative care Liposits, G., Singhal, S., Krok-Schoen, J. L. 2023; 17 (1): 15-21


    Older adults with cancer frequently experience malnutrition and sarcopenia resulting in lower treatment efficacy, increased risk of toxicities and healthcare costs, lower quality of life and shorter survival. Improving nutritional status in this rapidly growing population is an urgent need globally. We reviewed randomized controlled trials from the last 18 months focusing on nutritional status and applying multimodal interventions in older adults with cancer.Several randomized controlled trials have been reported recently elucidating the impact of nutritional interventions as a part of multimodal interventions through different stages of cancer care. Although multimodal interventions rarely demonstrate survival benefit, they improve several important aspects of cancer care, including patient-centred endpoints such as physical functioning, adherence, patient satisfaction and quality of life.Multimodal interventions including nutrition have the potential to improve patient-centred outcomes in older adults with cancer during the continuum of care, from prehabilitation to palliative care. Early, integrated supportive care applying the right intervention in the right setting at the proper time along with personalized antitumor treatment is the cornerstone of optimal holistic cancer care.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/SPC.0000000000000630

    View details for PubMedID 36695864

  • Geriatric assessment in the older adult with genitourinary cancer: A narrative review. Frontiers in oncology Singhal, S., Marwell, J. G., Khaki, A. R. 2023; 13: 1124309


    Genitourinary (GU) cancers including bladder, prostate, and kidney cancers affect older adults with a higher prevalence compared to younger adults. GU cancer treatment is associated with poorer outcomes in older adults compared to their younger counterparts. To better identify and support older adults receiving cancer care, oncologic societies recommend the use of a geriatric assessment (GA) to guide management. However, little is known about the implementation and usefulness of the GA in older adults with GU cancers. We performed a narrative review to investigate the utility of the GA in older adults with GU cancers and propose strategies to optimize the real-world use of the GA. Here, we describe a framework to incorporate GA into the routine cancer care of older adults with GU cancers and provide several implications for future research.

    View details for DOI 10.3389/fonc.2023.1124309

    View details for PubMedID 36816955

  • Hypomethylating agent-based therapies in older adults with acute myeloid leukemia - A joint review by the Young International Society of Geriatric Oncology and European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation Trainee Committee. Journal of geriatric oncology Neuendorff, N. R., Gagelmann, N., Singhal, S., Meckstroth, S., Thibaud, V., Zhao, Y., Mir, N., Shih, Y., Amaro, D. M., Roy, M., Lombardo, J., Gjarde, L. K., Loh, K. P. 2022


    Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is associated with poor outcomes in older adults. A major goal of treatment is to balance quality of life and functional independence with disease control. With the approval of new, more tolerable regimens, more older adults are able to receive AML-directed therapy. Among these options are hypomethylating agents (HMAs), specifically azacitidine and decitabine. HMAs have become an integral part of AML therapy over the last two decades. These agents are used either as monotherapy or nowadays more commonly in combination with other agents such as the Bcl-2 inhibitor venetoclax. Biological AML characteristics, such as molecular and cytogenetic risk factors, play crucial roles in guiding treatment decisions. In patients with high-risk AML, HMAs are increasingly used rather than intensive chemotherapy, although further trials based on a risk-adapted approach using patient- and disease-related factors are needed. Here, we review trials and evidence for the use of HMA monotherapy and combination therapy in the management of older adults with AML. Furthermore, we discuss the use of HMAs and HMA combination therapies in AML, mechanisms of action, their incorporation into hematopoietic stem cell transplantation strategies, and their use in patients with comorbidities and reduced organ function.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jgo.2022.11.005

    View details for PubMedID 36435726

  • Exploring US internal medicine resident career preferences: a Q-methodology study. Advances in health sciences education : theory and practice Roberts, J. K., Schub, M., Singhal, S., Norwood, J., Cassini, T., Hudler, A., Ramadurai, D., Smith, C. C., Desai, S. S., Weintraub, J., Hasler, S. H., Schwiesow, T. M., Connors, G. R., Didwania, A., Hargett, C. W., Wolf, M. 2022


    Career selection in medicine is a complex and underexplored process. Most medical career studies performed in the U.S. focused on the effect of demographic variables and medical education debt on career choice. Considering ongoing U.S. physician workforce shortages and the trilateral adaptive model of career decision making, a robust assessment of professional attitudes and work-life preferences is necessary. The objective of this study was to explore and define the dominant viewpoints related to career choice selection in a cohort of U.S. IM residents. We administered an electronic Q-sort in which 218 IM residents sorted 50 statements reflecting the spectrum of opinions that influence postgraduate career choice decisions. Participants provided comments that explained the reasoning behind their individual responses. In the final year of residency training, we ascertained participating residents' chosen career. Factor analysis grouped similar sorts and revealed four distinct viewpoints. We characterized the viewpoints as "Fellowship-Bound-Academic," "Altruistic-Longitudinal-Generalist," "Inpatient-Burnout-Aware," and "Lifestyle-Focused-Consultant." There is concordance between residents who loaded significantly onto a viewpoint and their ultimate career choice. Four dominant career choice viewpoints were found among contemporary U.S. IM residents. These viewpoints reflect the intersection of competing priorities, personal interests, professional identity, socio-economic factors, and work/life satisfaction. Better appreciation of determinants of IM residents' career choices may help address workforce shortages and enhance professional satisfaction.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10459-022-10172-0

    View details for PubMedID 36264447

  • Change in four measures of physical function among older adults during lung cancer treatment: A mixed methods cohort study. Journal of geriatric oncology Singhal, S., Walter, L. C., Smith, A. K., Loh, K. P., Cohen, H. J., Zeng, S., Shi, Y., Boscardin, W. J., Presley, C. J., Williams, G. R., Magnuson, A., Mohile, S. G., Wong, M. L. 2022


    Functional outcomes during non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treatment are critically important to older adults. Yet, data on physical function and which measures best capture functional change remain limited.This multisite, mixed methods cohort study recruited adults ≥65 years with advanced NSCLC starting systemic treatment (i.e., chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and/or targeted therapy) with non-curative intent. Participants underwent serial geriatric assessments prior to starting treatment and at one, two, four, and six months, which included the Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS, range: 0-100%), instrumental activities of daily living (IADL, range: 0-14), European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Physical Functioning subscale (EORTC QLQ-C30 PF, range: 0-100), and Life-Space Assessment (LSA, range: 0-120). For all measures, higher scores represent better functioning. In a qualitative substudy, 20 patients completed semi-structured interviews prior to starting treatment and at two and six months to explore how treatment affected their daily functioning. We created joint displays for each interview participant that integrated their longitudinal KPS, IADL, EORTC QLQ-C30 PF, and LSA scores with patient quotes describing their function.Among 87 patients, median age was 73 years (range 65-96). Mean pretreatment KPS score was 79% (standard deviation [SD] 13), EORTC QLQ-C30 PF was 69 (SD 23), and LSA was 67 (SD 28); median IADL was 13 (interquartile range [IQR] 10-14). At two months after treatment initiation, 70% of patients experienced functional decline on at least one measure, with only 13% of these patients recovering at six months. At two and six months, decline in LSA was the most common (48% and 35%, respectively). Joint displays revealed heterogeneity in how well each quantitative measure of physical function captured the qualitative patient experience.Functional decline during NSCLC treatment is common among older adults. LSA is a useful measure to detect subtle functional decline that may be missed by other measures. Given heterogeneity in how well each quantitative measure captures changes in physical function, there is value to including more than one functional measure in geriatric oncology research studies.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jgo.2022.08.015

    View details for PubMedID 36058839

  • A Retrospective Analysis of Medical Student Performance Evaluations, 2014-2020: Recommend with Reservations. Journal of general internal medicine Tisdale, R. L., Filsoof, A. R., Singhal, S., Caceres, W., Nallamshetty, S., Rogers, A. J., Verghese, A. C., Harrington, R. A., Witteles, R. M. 2022


    BACKGROUND: The Medical Student Performance Evaluations (MSPE) is a cornerstone of residency applications. Little is known regarding adherence to Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) MSPE recommendations and longitudinal changes in MSPE content.OBJECTIVES: Evaluate current MSPE quality and longitudinal changes in MSPE and grading practices.DESIGN: Retrospective analysis.PARTICIPANTS: Students from all Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME)-accredited medical schools from which the Stanford University Internal Medicine residency program received applications between 2014-2015 and 2019-2020.MAIN MEASURES: Inclusion of key words to describe applicant performance and metrics thereof, including distribution among students and key word assignment explanation; inclusion of clerkship grades, grade distributions, and grade composition; and evidence of grade inflation over time.KEY RESULTS: MSPE comprehensiveness varied substantially among the 149 schools analyzed. In total, 25% of schools provided complete information consistent with AAMC recommendations regarding key word/categorization of medical students and clerkship grades in 2019-2020. Seventy-seven distinct key word terms appeared across the 139 schools examined in 2019-2020. Grading practices markedly varied, with 2-83% of students receiving the top internal medicine clerkship grade depending on the year and school. Individual schools frequently changed key word and grading practices, with 33% and 18% of schools starting and/or stopping use of key words and grades, respectively. Significant grade inflation occurred over the 6-year study period, with an average 14% relative increase in the proportion of students receiving top clerkship grades.CONCLUSIONS: A minority of schools complies with AAMC MSPE guidelines, and MSPEs are inconsistent across time and schools. These practices may impair evaluation of students within and between schools.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11606-022-07502-8

    View details for PubMedID 35710660

  • Use of systemic cancer treatments based on a validated survival prediction model in metastatic cancer. Roy, M., Gensheimer, M. F., Chang, D., Singhal, S., Khaki, A. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2022
  • Patient-reported outcome measurement implementation in cancer survivors: a systematic review. Journal of cancer survivorship : research and practice Singhal, S., Dickerson, J., Glover, M. J., Roy, M., Chiu, M., Ellis-Caleo, T., Hui, G., Tamayo, C., Loecher, N., Wong, H. N., Heathcote, L. C., Schapira, L. 2022


    Patient-reported outcome measurements (PROMs) are increasingly used for cancer patients receiving active treatment, but little is known about the implementation and usefulness of PROMs in cancer survivorship care. This systematic review evaluates how cancer survivors and healthcare providers (HCPs) perceive PROM implementation in survivorship care, and how PROM implementation impacts cancer survivors' health outcomes.We systematically searched PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, Web of Science, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews from database inception to February 2022 to identify randomized and nonrandomized studies of PROM implementation in cancer survivors.Based on prespecified eligibility criteria, we included 29 studies that reported on 26 unique PROMs. The studies were heterogeneous in study design, PROM instrument, patient demographics, and outcomes. Several studies found that cancer survivors and HCPs had favorable impressions of the utility of PROMs, and a few studies demonstrated that PROM implementation led to improvements in patient quality of life (QoL), with small to moderate effect sizes.We found implementation of PROMs in cancer survivorship care improved health outcomes for select patient populations. Future research is needed to assess the real-world utility of PROM integration into clinical workflows and the impact of PROMs on measurable health outcomes.Cancer survivors accepted PROMs. When successfully implemented, PROMs can improve health outcomes after completion of active treatment. We identify multiple avenues to strengthen PROM implementation to support cancer survivors.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11764-022-01216-w

    View details for PubMedID 35599269

  • Autoimmune Disease in Patients With Advanced Thymic Epithelial Tumors. JTO clinical and research reports Singhal, S., Hellyer, J., Ouseph, M. M., Wakelee, H. A., Padda, S. K. 2022; 3 (5): 100323


    Paraneoplastic autoimmune diseases (ADs) are a hallmark of thymic epithelial tumors (TETs) and affect treatment management in patients with advanced-stage tumors, yet the risk factors for development of AD in advanced TET remain poorly understood.All patients with advanced TET treated at Stanford University between 2006 and 2020 were included. Charts were retrospectively reviewed for the presence of AD, demographic information, and treatment history. Next-generation sequencing was performed on available TET tissue. Multivariate regression was used to evaluate variables associated with AD.A total of 48 patients were included in the analysis with a median follow-up of 5.4 years. One-third (n = 16, 33%) were diagnosed with having ADs, with 28 distinct ADs identified. The only significant difference observed in the AD cohort compared with the non-AD cohort was a higher proportion of thymoma histotype (81% versus 47%, p = 0.013). The most common AD events were myasthenia gravis (n = 7, 44%) followed by pure red cell aplasia (n = 5, 31%). In the multivariate models, there were no independent factors associated with AD, either at TET diagnosis or subsequent to TET diagnosis. Genomic data were available on 18 patients, and there were no overlapping mutations identified in the nine patients with AD.ADs are common in patients with advanced TETs. Prior total thymectomy does not affect the development of subsequent AD. Patients who developed AD other than myasthenia gravis were more likely to do so several years after TET diagnosis. Additional work, including multiomic analyses, is needed to develop predictive markers for AD in advanced TET.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jtocrr.2022.100323

    View details for PubMedID 35601925

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC9121321

  • Effect of electronic clinical decision support on inappropriate prescriptions in older adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society Singhal, S., Krishnamurthy, A., Wang, B., Weng, Y., Sharp, C., Shah, N., Ahuja, N., Hosamani, P., Periyakoil, V. S., Hom, J. 2021

    View details for DOI 10.1111/jgs.17608

    View details for PubMedID 34877652

  • Suppurative lymphadenitis caused by hypermucoid-variant Klebsiella in a Polynesian woman: a case report. Diagnostic microbiology and infectious disease Sun, B., Singhal, S., Winslow, D. L. 2020; 98 (4): 115166


    Hypermucoid Klebsiella pneumoniae, known for its association with multiple-organ infection, has gradually increased in prevalence beyond where it was first characterized in East Asia. Here we describe a unique presentation of suppurative lymphadenitis due to hypermucoid Klebsiella in a patient from Tonga, a country with few reported cases.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2020.115166

    View details for PubMedID 32889418

  • Timing and Predictors of Subspecialty Career Choice Among Internal Medicine Residents: A Retrospective Cohort Study. Journal of graduate medical education Yang, J., Singhal, S., Weng, Y., Bentley, J. P., Chari, N., Liu, T., Delgado-Carrasco, K., Ahuja, N., Witteles, R., Kumar, A. 2020; 12 (2): 212-216


    Internal medicine residents face numerous career options after residency training. Little is known about when residents make their final career choice.We assessed the timing and predictive factors of final career choices among internal medicine residents at graduation, including demographics, pre-residency career preferences, and rotation scheduling.We conducted a retrospective study of graduates of an academic internal medicine residency program from 2014 to 2017. Main measures included demographics, rotation schedules, and self-reported career choices for residents at 5 time points: recruitment day, immediately after Match Day, end of postgraduate year 1 (PGY-1), end of PGY-2, and at graduation.Of the 138 residents eligible for the study, 5 were excluded based on participation in a fast-track program for an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education subspecialty fellowship. Among the remaining 133 residents, 48 (36%) pursued general internal medicine fields and 78 (59%) pursued fellowship training. Career choices from recruitment day, Match Day, and PGY-1 were only weakly predictive of the career choice. Many choices demonstrated low concordance throughout training, and general medicine fields (primary care, hospital medicine) were frequently not decided until after PGY-2. Early clinical exposure to subspecialty rotations did not predict final career choice.Early career choices before and during residency training may have low predictability toward final career choices upon graduation in internal medicine. These choices may continue to have low predictability beyond PGY-2 for many specialties. Early clinical exposure may not predict final career choice for subspecialties.

    View details for DOI 10.4300/JGME-D-19-00556.1

    View details for PubMedID 32322356

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7161324

  • Novel Graduate Medical Education in the Era of a Novel Virus Journal of Graduate Medical Education Tisdale, R., Filsoof, A., Singhal, S. 2020
  • Perceptions of time spent pursuing cancer care among patients, caregivers, and oncology professionals. Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer Hall, E. T., Sridhar, D. n., Singhal, S. n., Fardeen, T. n., Lahijani, S. n., Trivedi, R. n., Gray, C. n., Schapira, L. n. 2020


    Patients with cancer spend significant time receiving treatment and recovering from side effects. Little is known about how patients and their caregivers perceive time spent receiving cancer treatment and how this impacts health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Our study aims to characterize perceptions of time invested in receiving cancer therapy as experienced by patients, caregivers, and oncology professionals.We conducted semi-structured interviews with patients undergoing treatment for advanced lung cancer and melanoma, their informal caregivers, and oncology professionals (physicians, nurses, social workers, and chaplains). Participants received and provided care at a tertiary cancer center. Interviews were audiorecorded and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were analyzed qualitatively using predominantly inductive coding to identify themes relating to time perception and cancer care.We interviewed 29 participants (11 patients, 7 informal caregivers, and 11 oncology professionals) and found they consistently differentiated between time remaining in life ("existential time") and time required to manage cancer treatment and symptoms ("chronological time"). Patients and caregivers reported distress around the mechanics of oncologic care that interrupted their daily lives (hobbies, activities). Participants described the impact of time invested in cancer care on dimensions of quality of life, ranging from minimal to substantial negative impact.We found that the time spent undergoing cancer treatment affects well-being and often prevents patients and caregivers from participating in meaningful activities. The investment of personal time undergoing cancer therapy for patients with advanced solid tumors merits further study and can enhance communication between patients, caregivers, and their oncologists.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00520-020-05763-9

    View details for PubMedID 32935204

  • Patient-Reported Outcomes for Cancer Patients Receiving Checkpoint Inhibitors: Opportunities for Palliative Care-A Systematic Review JOURNAL OF PAIN AND SYMPTOM MANAGEMENT Hall, E. T., Singhal, S., Dickerson, J., Gabster, B., Wong, H., Aslakson, R. A., Schapira, L., Ast, K., Carroll, T., Dzeng, E., Harrison, K. L., Kaye, E. C., LeBlanc, T. W., Lo, S. S., McKenna, K., Nageswaran, S., Powers, J., Rotella, J., Ullrich, C., Vickey, T., AAHPM Res Comm Writing Grp 2019; 58 (1): 137-+
  • Costs and outcomes with once-daily versus every-six-hour intravenous busulfan in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation Singhal, S. n., Kim, T. n., Jenkins, P. n., Bassett, B. n., Tierney, D. K., Rezvani, A. R. 2019


    The high cost of healthcare in the United States have not been consistently associated with improved health outcomes or quality of care, necessitating a focus on value-based care. We identified busulfan dosing frequency during allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) conditioning as a potential target for optimization. To improve patient convenience and to decrease the cost of busulfan-based conditioning regimens, our institution changed busulfan dose frequency from every six-hours (q6h) to once-daily (q24h). We compared costs and patient outcomes between these two dose schedules.In June 2017, our institution transitioned from q6h to q24h busulfan dosing. We compared patients receiving busulfan/cyclophosphamide conditioning regimens (BU/CY) for allogeneic HCT in the year prior to the dosing change (q6h cohort) to those in the year after the dosing change (q24h cohort). The primary outcomes were difference in cost, day +90 mortality, and day +90 relapse.Between June 1, 2016 and June 1, 2018, 104 patients (age 49, 20-63 years) received BU/CY before allogeneic HCT. Fifty-nine patients (57%) received q6h busulfan, and 45 (43%) received q24h busulfan. There were fewer men in the q24h busulfan cohort (42%) compared to the q6h busulfan cohort (64%, p=0.024), but there were no other significant differences between the groups. There was an average cost savings of $19,990 per patient per year with q24h busulfan compared to q6h busulfan, and an annual busulfan cost savings of $899,550.00. There was a significantly lower day +90 mortality in the q24h busulfan cohort compared to the q6h busulfan cohort (0% vs 10%, p=0.028). There were no significant differences in relapse at day +90 or in hospital length of stay.Intravenous busulfan dosing for allogeneic HCT conditioning is a target for improved value-based care. At our institution, patients who received q24h busulfan dosing had similar or superior outcomes compared to those receiving q6h dosing, with a reduction in average cost of $19,990 per patient per year and an overall annual reduction in busulfan costs of approximately $900,000.00. These data support the adoption of q24h intravenous busulfan dosing as a standard of care to improve value-based care in allogeneic HCT.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bbmt.2019.09.008

    View details for PubMedID 31525492

  • Distinguishing classical papillary thyroid microcancers from follicular-variant microcancers. The Journal of surgical research Singhal, S., Sippel, R. S., Chen, H., Schneider, D. F. 2014; 190 (1): 151-6


    Papillary thyroid microcarcinomas (mPTCs), tumors less than or equal to 1 cm, have been considered the same clinical entity as microfollicular-variant papillary thyroid microcarcinomas (mFVPTCs). The purpose of this study was to use population-level data to characterize differences between mFVPTC and mPTC.We identified adult patients diagnosed with mFVPTC or mPTC between 1998 and 2010 in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database. Binary comparisons were made with the Student t-test and chi-squared test. Multivariate logistic regression was used to further analyze lymph node metastases and multifocality.Of the 30,926 cases, 8697 (28.1%) were mFVPTC. Multifocal tumors occurred with greater frequency in the mFVPTC group compared with the mPTC group (35.4% versus 31.7%; P<0.01). Multivariate logistic regression indicated that patients with mFVPTC had a 26% increased risk of multifocality (odds ratio, 1.26; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-1.4; P<0.01). In contrast, lymph node metastases were nearly twice as common in the mPTC group compared with the mFVPTC group (6.8% versus 3.6%; P<0.01). Multivariate logistic regression confirmed that patients with mPTC had a 69% increased risk of lymph node metastases compared with patients with mFVPTC (odds ratio, 1.69; 95% confidence interval, 1.4-2.0; P<0.01).Multifocality is not unique to classical mPTC and occurs more often in mFVPTC. The risk of lymph node metastases is greater for mPTC than mFVPTC. The surgeon should be aware of these features as they may influence the treatment for these microcarcinomas.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jss.2014.03.032

    View details for PubMedID 24735716

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4053495