Photo of John T. Vetto, M.D., F.A.C.S.

John T. Vetto M.D., F.A.C.S.

  • (503) 494-5501
    • Professor of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology School of Medicine

Dr. Vetto received his M.D. degree from OHSU, graduating magna cum laude (with high honors) and earning membership in the medical honor society Alpha Omega Alpha. He completed his general surgery training at Brigham and Womens Hospital (Harvard Medical School) in Boston and at the UCLA Medical Center. He performed two fellowships in surgical oncology (cancer surgery) at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, and at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Dr. Vetto then returned to OHSU where he is a now professor of surgery in the division of surgical oncology and director of the Department of Surgery cutaneous oncology program. He was one of the founding members of the OHSU Breast Program. He sees patients with melanoma, breast cancer, and sarcoma (soft tissue and muscle cancers). His research areas are in tumor immunology and cancer education.

His work in these areas has led to the publication of over 300 original scientific papers, abstracts, editorials and book chapters, more than 130 regional, national, and international invited lectureships and to extensive regional and national research grant funding. He is an active caregiver on the OHSU multidisciplinary breast cancer, and sarcoma patient care teams, and he heads the melanoma care team.

Dr. Vetto belongs to 22 professional organizations, has been a national reviewer for National Cancer Institute tumor immunology and cancer education grants, and has served as a reviewer for over 20 surgery and oncology journals. He is currently the  Deputy Editor of the Journal of Cancer Education. Dr. Vetto has received multiple OHSU and national awards for education and teaching, and has co-authored the cancer questions on the last four editions of SESAP, the American College of Surgeons national practice examination for general surgeons.

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Areas of interest

  • Clinical outcomes, multidisciplinary cancer care, cancer education and tumor immunology


  • M.D., Oregon Health & Science University, Portland Oregon 1982
  • Residency:

    • General Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 1984
    • General Surgery, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, 1989
  • Fellowship:

    • Clinical Associateship in Surgical Oncology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, 1986
    • Surgical Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, 1991
  • Certifications:

    • American Board of Surgery (1990, 2000)


  • "Vitreo-retinal traction and anastrozole use" Breast Cancer Research and Treatment September 2009
  • "Adjuvant therapy with agonistic antibodies to CD134 (OX40) increases local control after surgical or radiation therapy of cancer in mice" Journal of Immunotherapy October 2010
  • "Usefulness of the triple test score for palpable breast masses" JAMA Surgery  2001
  • "Assessing the need for Clinical Breast Examanation (CBE) training" Journal of Cancer Education  2000
  • "Factors influencing accuracy of axillary sentinel lymph node frozen section for breast cancer" American Journal of Surgery May 2010
  • "Relationships between operative approaches and outcomes in esophageal cancer" American Journal of Surgery  1998
  • "Accurate and cost-effective evaluation of breast masses in males" American Journal of Surgery  1998
  • "Management of the ectopic ACTH syndrome due to thoracic carcinoids" Annals of Thoracic Surgery  1990
  • "Cirsoid Aneurysms of the Jejunum" JAMA Surgery  1989
  • "Fresh surgical specimens yield breast stem/progenitor cells and reveal their oncogenic abnormalities" Annals of Surgical Oncology February 2012
  • "JCE welcomes a new publisher; join us in little rock for our annual meeting" Journal of Cancer Education June 2003
  • "Use of the 'triple test' for palpable breast lesions yields high diagnostic accuracy and cost savings" American Journal of Surgery  1995
  • "Infiltrating breast carcinoma in patients age 30 years and younger" International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics  1992
  • "Wedge resection vs lobectomy" Chest January 2007
  • "Gastric malignancies in breast cancer survivors" American Journal of Surgery May 2009
  • "Peritonectomy and intraperitoneal chemotherapy" World Journal of Surgery December 2006
  • "In Brief" Current Problems in Surgery December 2009
  • "Morbidity and mortality of hepatic resection for metastatic colorectal carcinoma" Diseases of the Colon and Rectum May 1990
  • "Fine-needle aspiration diagnosis of plasmacytoma presenting as breast masses in a patient on estrogen therapy for prostate cancer" Diagnostic Cytopathology December 2004
  • "Colorectal cancer in young patients" The American surgeon  1994
  • "Comparative validation of online nomograms for predicting nonsentinel lymph node status in sentinel lymph node-positive breast cancer" JAMA Surgery September 2011
  • "Dr. Richard Gallagher awarded 2006 Margaret Hay Edwards Medal." Journal of Cancer Education December 2006
  • "Role of imatinib in the management of early, operable, and advanced GI stromal tumors (GISTs)" OncoTargets and Therapy  2009
  • "Effect of biopsy type on outcomes in the treatment of primary cutaneous melanoma" American Journal of Surgery May 2013
  • "A phase 2 trial of complete resection for stage IV melanoma" Cancer October 15 2011
  • "High-Dose Recombinant Interleukin 2 in the Treatment of Patients With Disseminated Cancer" JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association December 12 1986
  • "Specimen adequacy in breast fine-needle aspiration biopsy." American Journal of Clinical Pathology July 1997
  • "Reflections" Journal of Cancer Education January 1 2014
  • "A stoic patient [1]" American Journal of Surgery  2001
  • "Adjuvant immunization of HLA-A2-positive melanoma patients with a modified gp100 peptide induces peptide-specific CD8+ T-cell responses" Journal of Clinical Oncology April 15 2003

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