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Barbara A.  Murphy

Barbara A. Murphy, M.D.

Professor of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology)
Director, Head & Neck Oncology
Program Director, Pain & Symptom Management Program

  • Appointments
    Physicians: 1-877-936-8422
  • Clinical Trials Information
  • Other Telephone Numbers
    Henry-Joyce Cancer Clinic
    (615) 936-8422 or 1 (877) 936-8422

  • Faxes
    Henry-Joyce Cancer Clinic Fax
    (615) 343-8668
    Office Fax
  • Addresses
    Henry-Joyce Cancer Clinic
    1301 Medical Center Drive, Suite 1710
    Nashville, Tennessee 37232-7415

    2220 Pierce Avenue
    777 Preston Research Building
    Nashville, TN 37232-6307

Dr. Murphy is a medical oncologist who specializes in head and neck cancer as well as in pain and symptom management control. The Head and Neck Oncology Program has achieved national recognition for its expertise in combined modality therapy. Her clinical interests for head and neck cancer include identifying new and more effective treatments. For example, Dr. Murphy studies patients who have been diagnosed with head and neck cancer that has either spread throughout the body (metastasized) or has returned after initial treatment with surgery or radiation (recurred). Although several chemotherapy drugs (anti-cancer medications) are effective in the treatment of metastatic or recurrent head and neck cancer, these agents are unable to provide a cure and are associated with side effects.

Dr. Murphy recently developed a new Pain & Symptom Management Program dedicated to providing our patients with a comprehensive and integrative approach to their health care. Dr. Murphy works with a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals to address specific problems facing cancer patients and their families and to ensure a coordinated plan of care. The program is committed to improving the quality of life of patients and families by helping to identify and resolve physical, emotional and spiritual issues.

  • Duke University, B.S., Zoology, 1983
  • Bowman-Gray School of Medicine, M.D., 1987
  • Internal Medicine Residency, Greenwich Hospital (Yale affiliated), 1987-1990
  • Fellow in Medical Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1990-1993
  • Chief Fellow, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1991-1992
  • Research Fellow, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1992-1993
Research Description

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  • Ganzer H, Rothpletz-Puglia P, Byham-Gray L, Murphy BA, Touger-Decker R. The eating experience in long-term survivors of head and neck cancer: a mixed-methods study. Support Care Cancer [print-electronic]. 2015 Nov; 23(11): 3257-68. PMID: 25851804, PII: 10.1007/s00520-015-2730-9, DOI: 10.1007/s00520-015-2730-9, ISSN: 1433-7339.
    Available from:
  • Deng J, Ridner SH, Aulino JM, Murphy BA. Assessment and measurement of head and neck lymphedema: state-of-the-science and future directions. Oral Oncol [print-electronic]. 2015 May; 51(5): 431-7. PMID: 25703799, PII: S1368-8375(15)00006-8, DOI: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2015.01.005, ISSN: 1879-0593.
    Available from:
  • Jackson LK, Deng J, Ridner SH, Gilbert J, Dietrich MS, Murphy BA. Preliminary Testing of a Patient-Reported Outcome Measure for Recurrent or Metastatic Head and Neck Cancer. Am J Hosp Palliat Care [print-electronic]. 2015 Feb 2/8/2015; PMID: 25667146, PII: 1049909115569591, DOI: 10.1177/1049909115569591, ISSN: 1938-2715.
    Available from:
  • Deng J, Ridner SH, Wells N, Dietrich MS, Murphy BA. Development and preliminary testing of head and neck cancer related external lymphedema and fibrosis assessment criteria. Eur J Oncol Nurs [print-electronic]. 2015 Feb; 19(1): 75-80. PMID: 25190635, PII: S1462-3889(14)00102-1, DOI: 10.1016/j.ejon.2014.07.006, ISSN: 1532-2122.
    Available from:
  • Jackson LK, Johnson DB, Sosman JA, Murphy BA, Epstein JB. Oral health in oncology: impact of immunotherapy. Support Care Cancer [print-electronic]. 2015 Jan; 23(1): 1-3. PMID: 25216852, DOI: 10.1007/s00520-014-2434-6, ISSN: 1433-7339.
    Available from:
  • Chung CH, Lee JW, Slebos RJ, Howard JD, Perez J, Kang H, Fertig EJ, Considine M, Gilbert J, Murphy BA, Nallur S, Paranjape T, Jordan RC, Garcia J, Burtness B, Forastiere AA, Weidhaas JB. A 3'-UTR KRAS-variant is associated with cisplatin resistance in patients with recurrent and/or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Ann. Oncol [print-electronic]. 2014 Nov; 25(11): 2230-6. PMID: 25081901, PMCID: PMC4207729, PII: mdu367, DOI: 10.1093/annonc/mdu367, ISSN: 1569-8041.
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  • Chera BS, Eisbruch A, Murphy BA, Ridge JA, Gavin P, Reeve BB, Bruner DW, Movsas B. Recommended patient-reported core set of symptoms to measure in head and neck cancer treatment trials. J. Natl. Cancer Inst [electronic-print]. 2014 Jul; 106(7): PMID: 25006189, PMCID: PMC4192043, PII: dju127, DOI: 10.1093/jnci/dju127, ISSN: 1460-2105.
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  • Johnson DB, Dahlman KH, Knol J, Gilbert J, Puzanov I, Means-Powell J, Balko JM, Lovly CM, Murphy BA, Goff LW, Abramson VG, Crispens MA, Mayer IA, Berlin JD, Horn L, Keedy VL, Reddy NM, Arteaga CL, Sosman JA, Pao W. Enabling a genetically informed approach to cancer medicine: a retrospective evaluation of the impact of comprehensive tumor profiling using a targeted next-generation sequencing panel. Oncologist [print-electronic]. 2014 Jun; 19(6): 616-22. PMID: 24797823, PMCID: PMC4041676, PII: theoncologist.2014-0011, DOI: 10.1634/theoncologist.2014-0011, ISSN: 1549-490X.
    Available from:
  • Bond SM, Hawkins DK, Murphy BA. Caregiver-reported neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients undergoing treatment for head and neck cancer: a pilot study. Cancer Nurs. 2014 May; 37(3): 227-35. PMID: 23619332, PMCID: PMC4304699, DOI: 10.1097/NCC.0b013e31829194a3, ISSN: 1538-9804.
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  • Kolnick L, Deng J, Epstein JB, Migliorati CA, Rezk J, Dietrich MS, Murphy BA. Associations of oral health items of the Vanderbilt Head and Neck Symptom Survey with a dental health assessment. Oral Oncol [print-electronic]. 2014 Feb; 50(2): 135-40. PMID: 24239279, PII: S1368-8375(13)00740-9, DOI: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2013.10.019, ISSN: 1879-0593.
    Available from:
  • George SM, Alfano CM, Groves J, Karabulut Z, Haman KL, Murphy BA, Matthews CE. Objectively measured sedentary time is related to quality of life among cancer survivors. PLoS ONE. 2014; 9(2): e87937. PMID: 24505335, PMCID: PMC3914895, PII: PONE-D-12-40403, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087937, ISSN: 1932-6203.
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  • Deng J, Ridner SH, Dietrich MS, Wells N, Murphy BA. Assessment of external lymphedema in patients with head and neck cancer: a comparison of four scales. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2013 Sep; 40(5): 501-6. PMID: 23989023, PII: 3083002N77JR1421, DOI: 10.1188/13.ONF.501-506, ISSN: 1538-0688.
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  • Deng J, Murphy BA, Dietrich MS, Wells N, Wallston KA, Sinard RJ, Cmelak AJ, Gilbert J, Ridner SH. Impact of secondary lymphedema after head and neck cancer treatment on symptoms, functional status, and quality of life. Head Neck [print-electronic]. 2013 Jul; 35(7): 1026-35. PMID: 22791550, PMCID: PMC4017911, DOI: 10.1002/hed.23084, ISSN: 1097-0347.
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  • Ganzer H, Touger-Decker R, Parrott JS, Murphy BA, Epstein JB, Huhmann MB. Symptom burden in head and neck cancer: impact upon oral energy and protein intake. Support Care Cancer [print-electronic]. 2013 Feb; 21(2): 495-503. PMID: 22825457, DOI: 10.1007/s00520-012-1542-4, ISSN: 1433-7339.
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  • Deng J, Ridner SH, Dietrich MS, Wells N, Wallston KA, Sinard RJ, Cmelak AJ, Murphy BA. Factors associated with external and internal lymphedema in patients with head-and-neck cancer. Int. J. Radiat. Oncol. Biol. Phys [print-electronic]. 2012 Nov 11/1/2012; 84(3): e319-28. PMID: 22652102, PII: S0360-3016(12)00560-3, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2012.04.013, ISSN: 1879-355X.
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  • Deng J, Ridner SH, Murphy BA, Dietrich MS. Preliminary development of a lymphedema symptom assessment scale for patients with head and neck cancer. Support Care Cancer [print-electronic]. 2012 Aug; 20(8): 1911-8. PMID: 22072048, DOI: 10.1007/s00520-011-1294-6, ISSN: 1433-7339.
    Available from:
  • Cooperstein E, Gilbert J, Epstein JB, Dietrich MS, Bond SM, Ridner SH, Wells N, Cmelak A, Murphy BA. Vanderbilt Head and Neck Symptom Survey version 2.0: report of the development and initial testing of a subscale for assessment of oral health. Head Neck [print-electronic]. 2012 Jun; 34(6): 797-804. PMID: 22127786, DOI: 10.1002/hed.21816, ISSN: 1097-0347.
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  • Gilbert J, Haman KL, Dietrich MS, Blakely RD, Shelton RC, Murphy BA. Depression in patients with head and neck cancer and a functional genetic polymorphism of the serotonin transporter gene. Head Neck [print-electronic]. 2012 Mar; 34(3): 359-64. PMID: 21604315, DOI: 10.1002/hed.21744, ISSN: 1097-0347.
    Available from:
  • Deng J, Ridner SH, Dietrich MS, Wells N, Wallston KA, Sinard RJ, Cmelak AJ, Murphy BA. Prevalence of secondary lymphedema in patients with head and neck cancer. J Pain Symptom Manage [print-electronic]. 2012 Feb; 43(2): 244-52. PMID: 21802897, PII: S0885-3924(11)00269-7, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2011.03.019, ISSN: 1873-6513.
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  • Vlacich G, Diaz R, Thorpe SW, Murphy BA, Kirby W, Sinard RJ, Shakhtour B, Shyr Y, Murphy P, Netterville JL, Yarbrough WG, Cmelak AJ. Intensity-modulated radiation therapy with concurrent carboplatin and paclitaxel for locally advanced head and neck cancer: toxicities and efficacy. Oncologist [print-electronic]. 2012; 17(5): 673-81. PMID: 22550060, PMCID: PMC3360907, PII: theoncologist.2011-0396, DOI: 10.1634/theoncologist.2011-0396, ISSN: 1549-490X.
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  • Glisson BS, Murphy BA, Frenette G, Khuri FR, Forastiere AA. Phase II Trial of Docetaxel and Cisplatin combination Chemotherapy in Patients with Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck. J Clin Oncol. 2002; 20: 1593-659.
  • Forastiere AA, Leong T, Rowinsky E, MURPHY BA, Vlock DR, DeConti RC, Adams GL. A phase III comparison of high dose Paclitaxel + Cisplatin + G-CSF versus low dose Paclitaxel + Cisplatin in advanced head and neck cancer: An ECOG study (E1393). J Clin Oncol. 2001; 19: 1088-95.
  • MURPHY BA, Cmelak A, Burkey B, Netterville J. The Role of Topoisomerases in Head and Neck Cancer. Oncology. 2001; 15(7 Suppl8): 47-52.
  • MURPHY BA, Leong T, Burkey B, Langer C, Forastiere A. Lack of efficacy of topotecan in the treatment of metastatic or recurrent squamous carcinoma of the head and neck: an Eastern Cooperative Group Trial (E3393). Am J Clin Oncol. 2001; 24(1).
  • Motzer RJ, Bacik J, MURPHY BA, Mazumdar M. Interferon-alpha as a comparative treatment for clinical trials of novel therapies against advanced renal cell carcinoma. J Clin Oncol. 2001; 20: 289-96.
  • Motzer RJ, Rakhit A, Thompson JA, Nemunaitis J, MURPHY BA, Ellerhorst J, Schwart LH, Berg WJ, Bukowski RM. Randomized multi-centered phase II trial of subcutaneous - recombinant human interleukin-12 versus interferon alpha-2a for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma. Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research. 2001; 21: 257-64.
  • Shin D, Skuri F, MURPHY B, Garden AS, Clayman G, Francisco M, Liu D, Glisson BS, Ginsberg L, Papdimitrakopoulou V, Myers J, Morrison W, Gillenwater A, Ang KK, Lippman SM, Goepfert, Hang WK. Combined Interferon-alpha, 13-cis retinoic acid and alpha-Tocopherol in locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: novel bioadjuvant phase II trial. J Clin Oncol. 2001; 19(12): 3010-7.
  • Kaufman D, Ragahavan D, Carducci M, Levine EG, MURPHY BA, Aisner J, Kuzel T, Nichol S, Stadler W. Phase II trial of Gemcitabine plus Cisplatin in patients with metastatic urothelial cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2000; 18: 1921-7.
  • Motzer R, MURPHY B, Bacik J, Schwartz LH, Nanus DM, Mariani T, Loehrer P, Wilding G, Fairclough DL, Cella D, Mazumdar M. Phase III trial of Interferon alpha-2A with or without 13-cis Retinoic acid for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma. J Clin Oncol. 2000; 18: 2972-80.
  • Cmelak AJ, MURPHY BA, Day T. Combined modality therapy for locoregionally-advanced head and neck cancer. Oncology. 1999; 13: 83-92.
  • Flood W, Lee DJ, Trotti A, Spencer S, MURPHY B, Khuri F, DeConti R, Wheeler R, Forastiere A. Multimodality therapy of patients with locally advanced squamous cell cancer of the head and neck: preliminary results of two pilot trials utilizing Paclitaxel and cisplatin. Seminars in Rad Oncol. 1999; 9: 64-9.
  • MURPHY BA. New drug therapy for squamous carcinoma of the head and neck. Opinion in Oncology. 1996; 8: 221-6.
  • Seckin B, Anthony CT, MURPHY BA, Steiner MS. Can PSA be used as a valid endpoint to determine the efficacy of chemotherapy in hormone refractory prostate cancer. Urology. 1996; 14 Suppl 1.
  • Moasser MM, Motzer RJ, Khoo KS, Bosl GJ, MURPHY BA, Lyn P, Dmitrovsk E. All Trans-Retinoic Acid for Germ Cell Tumors: In Vitro Activity and Results of a Phase II Study. Cancer. 1995; 76: 680-6.
  • Motzer RJ, Schwartz L, Murray Law TM, MURPHY BA, Hoffman AD, Albino AP, Vlamis V, Nanus DM. Interferon alpha-2a and 13-cis-Retinoic Acid in renal cell carcinoma: antitumor activity in a phase II trial and interactions in vitro. J Clin Oncol. 1995; 13: 1950.
  • MURPHY BA, Motzer RJ, Bosl GJ. Treatment of patients with poor risk and relapsed germ cell tumors: the Memorial Hospital experience. Problems in Urology. 1994; 8: 127-40.
  • MURPHY BA, Motzer RJ, Mazumdar M, Vlamis V, Bajorin D, Nisselbaum J, Bosl GJ. Serum tumor marker regression in patients treated with Ifosfamide-based chemotherapy predicts for event-free and overall survival. Cancer. 1994; 10: 2520-6.
  • Saltz L, MURPHY B, Kemeny N, Bertino J, Tong W, Keefe D, Pierri MK, Roistacher N, Tzy-Jun Y, Tao Y, Wright P, Barbosa K, Heffernan B, Kelson D, O'Brien JP. A phase I trial of intrahepatic verapamil and doxorubicin: regional therapy to overcome multidrug resistance. 2757-2764. 1994; 74: Cancer.
  • Bajorin DF, Motzer RJ, Rodriquez E, MURPHY, BA, Bosl GJ. Acute Nonlymphocytic leukemia in germ cell tumor patients treated with Etoposide-containing chemotherapy. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1993; 85: 60-2.
  • MURPHY BA, Motzer RJ, Bosl GJ. Phase II study of Iproplatin (CHIP) in patients with Cisplatin-refractory germ cell tumors; the need for alternative strategies in the investigation of new agents in GCT. Invest New Drugs. 1992; 10: 327-30.