Michelle Mierzwa

Michelle Mierzwa, MD

Associate Professor
Associate Chair of Clinical Research
Co-Chair of Head and Neck Clinical Trials

University Hospital
1500 E Medical Center Drive, UHB2C490
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5010


Clinical Contacts


Administrative Contact


Dr. Mierzwa has 13 years of clinical experience in treatment of head and neck cancer. Her clinical research interests have included novel chemoradiation regimens for head and neck cancers, as well as imaging markers and biomarkers of tumor response to radiation and toxicity. Specifically, she collaborates with the Departments of Otolaryngology and Medical Oncology to develop clinical trials to identify for oropharynx cancer patients who may be eligible for de-escalation of chemoradiation or may require intensified therapy. She is also the PI of an ongoing novel oropharynx cancer surveillance and survivorship protocol.

Areas of Interest

  • Advanced imaging techniques and imaging markers of response to radiotherapy in head and neck cancer
  • Development of prognostic and predictive biomarkers in head and neck cancer
  • Outcome modelling for tumor control and toxicity in head and neck cancer treated with radiotherapy Clinical trial development to de-escalate radiotherapy in oropharynx cancer
  • Clinical trial development using imaging markers to improve tumor control in high risk head and neck cancer treated with radiotherapy

Clinical Interests

  • Head and neck cancer

Honors & Awards

  • 2020-2021  Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology Educator of the Year
  • 2018-2019  Clinical Educator of the Year University of Michigan Radiation Oncology
  • 2011-2012  Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology Educator of the Year


  • MD, University of Cincinnati, 2003
  • MS, Biochemistry, Vanderbilt University, 1999
  • BS, Chemistry, Vanderbilt University, 1997
  • Board Certification: Radiation Oncology

Published Articles or Reviews

Selected from 58 publications

  • Chotchutipan T, Rosen BS, Hawkins PG, Lee JY, Saripalli AL, Thakkar D, Eisbruch A, El Naqa I, Mierzwa ML: Volumetric 18 F-FDG-PET parameters as predictors of locoregional failure in low-risk HPV- related oropharyngeal cancer after definitive chemoradiation therapy. Head Neck 41(2): 366-373, 2019. PM30548704/PMC6411288
  • Matuszak MM, Kashani R, Green M, Owen D, Jolly S, Mierzwa M: Functional Adaptation in Radiation Therapy. Semin Radiat Oncol 29(3): 236-244, 2019. PM31027641
  • Cao Y, Aryal M, Li P, Lee C, Schipper M, Hawkins PG, Chapman C, Owen D, Dragovic AF, Swiecicki P, Casper K, Worden F, Lawrence TS, Eisbruch A, Mierzwa M: Predictive Values of MRI and PET Derived Quantitative Parameters for Patterns of Failure in Both p16+ and p16- High Risk Head and Neck Cancer. Front Oncol 9: 1118, 2019. PM31799173/PMC6874128
  • Gharzai LA, Li P, Schipper MJ, Yao J, Mayo CS, Wilkie JR, Hawkins PG, Lyden T, Blakely A, Ibrahim M, Schonewolf CA, Shah J, Eisbruch A, Casper K, Mierzwa M: Characterization of very late dysphagia after chemoradiation for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. Oral Oncol 111: 104853, 2020. PM32805634
  • Beeler WH, Bellile EL, Casper KA, Jaworski E, Burger NJ, Malloy KM, Spector ME, Shuman AG, Rosko A, Stucken CL, Chinn SB, Dragovic AF, Chapman CH, Owen D, Jolly S, Bradford CR, Prince MEP, Worden FP, Jagsi R, Mierzwa ML, Swiecicki PL: Patient-reported financial toxicity and adverse medical consequences in head and neck cancer. Oral Oncol 101: 104521, 2020. PM31877502/PMC7008081
  • Swiecicki PL, Li P, Bellile E, Stucken C, Malloy K, Shuman A, Spector ME, Chinn S, Casper K, McLean S, Moyer J, Chepeha D, Wolf GT, Prince M, Bradford C, Nyati M, Eisbruch A, Worden FP, Jolly S, Mierzwa M: Paired phase II trials evaluating cetuximab and radiotherapy for low risk HPV associated oropharyngeal cancer and locoregionally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck in patients not eligible for cisplatin. Head Neck 42(8): 1728-1737, 2020. PM31989702/PMC7404812 
  • Thomson D, Palma D, Guckenberger M, Belermpas P, Beitler J, Blanchard P, Brizel D, Budach W, Caudell J, Corry J, Corvo R, Evans M, Garden AS, Giralt J, Gregoire V, Harari PM, Harrington K, Hitchcock YJ, Johansen J, Kaanders J, Koyfman S, Langendijk JA, Lee QT, Lee N, Margalit D, Mierzwa M, Porceddu S, Soong YL, Sun Y, Thariat J, Waldron J, Yom SS: Practice Recommendations for Risk- Adapted Head and Neck Cancer Radiation Therapy During the COVID-19 Pandemic: An ASTRO-ESTRO Consensus Statement IJROBP 3016(20): 31034-8, 2020. 7194855
  • Rosen BS, Wilkie JR, Sun Y, Ibrahim M, Casper KA, Miller JE, Chotchutipan T, Stucken CL, Bradford C, Prince MEP, Rosko AJ, Malloy KM, McLean SA, Chinn SB, Shuman AG, Spector ME, Swiecicki PL, Worden FP, Shah JL, Schonewolf CA, Chapman CH, Eisbruch A, Mierzwa ML: CT and FDG-PET radiologic biomarkers in p16+ oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma patients treated with definitive chemoradiotherapy. Radiother Oncol 155: 174-181, 2021. PM33069764
  • Mierzwa ML, Gharzai LA, Li P, Wilkie JR, Hawkins PG, Aryal MP, Lee C, Rosen B, Lyden T, Blakely A, Chapman CH, Thamarus J, Schonewolf C, Shah J, Eisbruch A, Schipper MJ, Cao Y: Early MRI Blood Volume Changes in Constrictor Muscles Correlate With Postradiation Dysphagia. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 110(2): 566-573, 2021. PM33346093
  • Gharzai LA, Burger N, Li P, Jaworski EM, Henderson C, Spector M, Rosko A, Chen MM, Prince ME, Bradford CR, Malloy KM, Stucken CL, Swiecicki P, Worden F, Schipper MJ, Schonewolf CA, Shah J, Jagsi R, Chinn S, Shuman A, Casper K, Mierzwa ML: Patient Burden with Current Surveillance Paradigm and Factors Associated with Interest in Altered Surveillance for Early Stage HPV-Related Oropharyngeal Cancer. Oncologist: 2021. (In Press) PM33823077

1500 E Medical Center Dr
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5010