Radiation Oncology News

Zijian Deng, Ph.D., awarded an AAPM seed funding grant

Zijian Deng, Ph.D., awarded an AAPM seed funding grant

Zijian Deng, Ph.D., Instructor in the BIRTLab, awarded a 2022 American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) seed funding grant for his research topic "Ultra-sensitive single-pixel bioluminescence tomography for in vivo cell tracking."

Radiation therapy in oligometastatic disease: podcast with Drs. Timmerman and Viswanathan

Radiation therapy in oligometastatic disease: podcast with Drs. Timmerman and Viswanathan

Dr. Timmerman joined "On Target with Dr. Akila Viswanathan," a podcast through Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, to discuss radiation therapy in oligometastatic disease. Dr. Viswanathan is the Director of Johns Hopkins Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences.

UT Southwestern develops nanotherapeutic to ward off liver cancer

UT Southwestern develops nanotherapeutic to ward off liver cancer

Led by Dr. Andrew Wang, Professor and Associate Vice Chair of Research in Radiation Oncology, a team of physician researchers from UTSW have developed an innovative nanotherapeutic drug that prevents cancer from spreading to the liver in mice. The study, entitled "Nanoparticle Delivery of miR-122 Inhibits Colorectal Cancer Liver Metastasis," presents a strategy to improve cancer prevention and treatment with nanomedicine-based delivery of miRNA.

Longtime Radiation Oncology Chair Choy appointed Professor Emeritus

Longtime Radiation Oncology Chair Choy appointed Professor Emeritus

Hak Choy, M.D., former Chair of Radiation Oncology and an internationally recognized expert in his field who has dedicated his career to improving cancer survival rates, has been appointed Professor Emeritus.

Addressing the most-feared kidney cancer complication

Addressing the most-feared kidney cancer complication

A new study by Kidney Cancer Program (KCP) investigators, including KCP co-leader Dr. Hannan, supports the expanded role of stereotactic ablative radiation (SAbR) in the treatment of metastatic kidney cancer. The phase 2 trial results show SAbR to be effective at controlling oligoprogressive RCC and prolonging ongoing systemic therapy for patients.

PULSAR-integrated radiotherapy—A new approach for treating patients

PULSAR-integrated radiotherapy—A new approach for treating patients

Conventional radiotherapy treatment offers a standardized approach to treatment, typically 30 minutes a day over several weeks. The duration of treatment can vary according to the patient’s type of cancer and responsiveness to treatment. By contrast, stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) is a very focused and potent radiation treatment that generally comprises three to five treatments over a period of five days.

Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy for High-Risk Prostate Cancer—a Prospective Multi-level MRI-based Dose Escalation Trial

Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy for High-Risk Prostate Cancer—a Prospective Multi-level MRI-based Dose Escalation Trial

Radiation dose intensification improves outcome in men with high-risk prostate cancer (HR-PCa). A prospective trial was conducted to determine safety, feasibility, and maximal tolerated dose (MTD) of multi-level MRI-based 5-fraction stereotactic radiation (SAbR) in patients with HR-PCa.

UTSW findings advance RAS inhibitors for use in fighting more cancers

UTSW findings advance RAS inhibitors for use in fighting more cancers

New findings by UT Southwestern researchers help better understand how one of the most commonly mutated genetic drivers of cancer passes signals that cause the disease.

ASTRO Conference 2021

ASTRO Conference 2021

The faculty in UT Southwestern's Department of Radiation Oncology will be well-represented at this year's ASTRO (American Society for Radiation Oncology) conference, which will be held in Chicago.

Neoadjuvant stereotactic radiation shows early safety, feasibility in RCC inferior vena cava tumor thrombus

Neoadjuvant stereotactic radiation shows early safety, feasibility in RCC inferior vena cava tumor thrombus

Neoadjuvant stereotactic radiation followed by radical nephrectomy and thrombectomy is a safe and feasible treatment option for patients with renal cell carcinoma and inferior vena cava tumor thrombus.

Stereotactic radiation offers new hope for high-risk heart patients

Stereotactic radiation offers new hope for high-risk heart patients

The precision of cardiac radioablation makes it possible to target the abnormal areas of the heart while avoiding normal heart tissue.

AAPM 2021

AAPM 2021

This year's AAPM meeting will be held virtually July 25-29. The theme is: "Creating science. Advancing medicine."

UT Southwestern investigators report first analysis of pioneering kidney cancer radiation approach in clinical trial

UT Southwestern investigators report first analysis of pioneering kidney cancer radiation approach in clinical trial

A new approach using precisely targeted, high-dose radiation to treat invasive kidney cancer proves safe, based on a clinical trial by the UT Southwestern Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center’s kidney cancer program. The study, published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics, could offer new hope for patients with a historically dismal condition.

Drs. Jiang, Jia and Nguyen receive NIH/NCI award

Drs. Jiang, Jia and Nguyen receive NIH/NCI award

Dr. Steve Jiang, Vice Chair and Professor; Dr. Xun Jia, Professor; and Dr. Dan Nguyen, Assistant Professor, in collaboration with Varian Medical Systems Inc., received a $2.9M NIH Academic-Industrial Partnerships R01 grant to develop human-like AI agents for better and faster radiotherapy treatment planning. This is the second R01 grant received by three multiple principal investigators to develop AI tools for improving cancer radiotherapy.

Experimental drug makes radiation therapy more effective, less damaging

Experimental drug makes radiation therapy more effective, less damaging

An experimental drug that has shown promise in protecting healthy tissue from collateral damage caused by radiation therapy for cancer also appears to enhance radiation’s capacity to kill tumors, a new study led by UT Southwestern scientists shows. The findings, published online in Science Translational Medicine, could provide a much-needed boost to the radiation treatments used against a variety of tumor types.

Aroumougame Asaithamby, Ph.D., wins Farrington Daniels Award

Aroumougame Asaithamby, Ph.D., wins Farrington Daniels Award

Aroumougame Asaithamby, Ph.D., along with co-authors Conor McFadden, Shirin Rahmanian, David Flint, Scott Bright, David Yoon, Daniel O'Brien, Amir Abdollahi, Steffen Greilich, and Gabriel Sawakuchi, were awarded the Farrington Daniels Award by the AAPM for outstanding paper published in 2020 in the "radiation therapy dosimetry, planning, or delivery" category. The paper, entitled "Isolation of time-dependent DNA damage induced by energetic carbon ions and their fragments using fluorescent nuclear track detectors," appeared in Medical Physics. Dr. Asaithamby is part of the Division of Molecular Radiation Biology and PI of the Aroumougame Lab.

Drs. Story, Saha, and Karanam granted a patent for developing a novel method of killing cancer cells

Drs. Story, Saha, and Karanam granted a patent for developing a novel method of killing cancer cells

Drs. Michael Story, Debabrata Saha, and Narasimha Kumar Karanam were granted a patent for developing a novel method of killing cancer cells that combines a PARP inhibitor, such as Olaparib, with Tumor Treating Fields, which are low intensity, intermediate frequency electric fields, applied to tumors. This method is based on preclinical findings that showed synergistic cancer cell killing when Tumor Treating Fields were used in combination with a PARP inhibitor.

Dr. Xiangkun Xu awarded the 2021 Spring Conference Travel Award

Dr. Xiangkun Xu awarded the 2021 Spring Conference Travel Award

Dr. Xiangkun Xu was awarded the 2021 Spring Conference Travel Award by the UT Southwestern Postdoctoral Association.

Advancing the study of T cells to improve immunotherapy

Advancing the study of T cells to improve immunotherapy

UT Southwestern scientists have developed a new method to study the molecular characteristics of T cells, critical immune cells that recognize and attack invaders in the body such as viruses, bacteria, and cancer.

Dr. Xun Jia receives $250,000 grant

Dr. Xun Jia receives $250,000 grant

Dr. Xun Jia, Professor of Radiation Oncology, in collaboration with Dr. Anke Henning, Professor of Radiology and Director of the Advanced Imaging Research Center, received a $250,000 grant to develop a new MRI scanner that will help keep radiation focus on tumors in radiotherapy. Instead of using MRI imaging conducted days or weeks ago, the MRI Dr. Jia is developing will attach to radiotherapy equipment and show MRI images immediately before or during radiation treatment. This will help see the tumor and target the radiation. The current state-of-the-art radiotherapy uses cone-beam computed tomography attached to radiotherapy equipment to guide radiation delivery. The new MRI scanner will enable better tumor visualizations without the concern of X-ray exposure in computed tomography.

Making radiation oncology more personal

Making radiation oncology more personal

Radiation doses can now be adjusted in step with changes in a tumour’s size or metabolic activity. The most advanced machines can generate a detailed real-time image of inside a person’s body while simultaneously delivering the beam. “Ten years ago, this was science fiction,” Sher says.

Dr. Prasanna Alluri receives a $1.5 million grant from Department of Defense

Dr. Prasanna Alluri receives a $1.5 million grant from Department of Defense

Dr. Prasanna Alluri, a physician scientist in our breast DOT, received a $1.5 million Breast Cancer Research Program Breakthrough Award from the Department of Defense (DOD) in partnership with Dr. Ram Mani in the Department of Pathology at UT Southwestern. Their study will define how reprogramming of transcriptional and DNA repair pathways drives resistance to endocrine therapies and CDK4/6 inhibitors in breast cancer patients. They will also develop new targeted therapies that reverse treatment resistance by targeting this pathological reprogramming, thereby expanding treatment options for breast cancer patients who have become unresponsive to existing treatments. Breast cancer grants funded by DOD are some of most competitive federal grants with a funding rate of only 5-6%.

Dr. Aguilera receives Damon Runyon Award to study emerging immunotherapy

Dr. Aguilera receives Damon Runyon Award to study emerging immunotherapy

The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation recently named Dr. Aguilera as one of four new Damon Runyon Clinical Investigators. The three-year, $600,000 award supports outstanding early career physician-scientists conducting patient-oriented cancer research with the potential to impact cancer diagnosis, prevention, and treatment.

Dr. Aguilera wins funding award

Dr. Aguilera wins funding award

Dr. Todd Aguilera, Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at UTSW, has received a Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award for his work in immunotherapy. The award grants Aguilera’s multidisciplinary team $600,000 to support their research.

Brock Sishc hired by NASA's Johnson Space Center

Brock Sishc hired by NASA's Johnson Space Center

Brock Sishc, Ph.D., part of UTSW since 2014, has been recruited by NASA's Johnson Space Center to serve as the cancer discipline lead within the Space Radiation Element, a part of the Human Research Program. Brock's primary role will be to support the chief and deputy element scientists in the direction and development of research goals including gaining an understanding of the risk of space radiation exposure to astronaut health. Congratulations Brock!

Debabrata Saha, Ph.D., receives a $250,000 AACR-Novocure research grant award

Debabrata Saha, Ph.D., receives a $250,000 AACR-Novocure research grant award

Debabrata Saha, Ph.D., part of our Molecular Radiation Biology team, received a $250,000 AACR-Novocure research grant award from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) for tumor-treating field research. His research project is titled “Evaluating efficacy of TTFields and radiotherapy in preclinical tumor model.”

Dr. Karanam receives AACR-Novocure Career Development award

Dr. Karanam receives AACR-Novocure Career Development award

Narasimha Kumar Karanam, Ph.D., recently received AACR-Novocure Career Development award from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), which awards him a three-year grant of $225,000 to study system-level effects through trans-omics approach and to find novel combination therapies together with Tumor-Treating Fields.

Roberts' Prize for best published paper in 2019

Roberts' Prize for best published paper in 2019

Xiao Liang, Liyuan Chen, Dan Nguyen, Zhiguo Zhou, Xuejun Gu, Ming Yang, Jing Wang, and Steve Jiang—all part of our Department—were just awarded the Roberts’ Prize for best paper published in the journal of Physics in Medicine and Biology for 2019. Their paper is entitled “Generating synthesized computed tomography (CT) from cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) using CycleGAN for adaptive radiation therapy.”

Dr. Kevin Albuquerque - ASTRO Annual Refresher Course

Dr. Kevin Albuquerque - ASTRO Annual Refresher Course

Dr. Kevin Albuquerque, head of our GYN team, to teach part of the 2020 ASTRO Annual Refresher Course in New Orleans March 20-22.

UT Southwestern nearly doubles lifespan of mice with brain cancer

UT Southwestern nearly doubles lifespan of mice with brain cancer

UT Southwestern Simmons Cancer Center researchers have developed technology that is spawning a much better form of drug delivery for gene therapy and has achieved a 43 percent increase in the survival of mice with glioblastoma, one of the deadliest forms of human brain cancer. The researchers used specially engineered silicon chips to zap cells and produce a new drug delivery system. The results were published in Nature Biomedical Engineering.

AI can jump-start radiation therapy for cancer patients

AI can jump-start radiation therapy for cancer patients

Artificial intelligence can help cancer patients start their radiation therapy sooner – and thereby decrease the odds of the cancer spreading – by instantly translating complex clinical data into an optimal plan of attack.

GammaPod on KERA with Sam Baker and Dr. Asal Rahimi

GammaPod on KERA with Sam Baker and Dr. Asal Rahimi

Listen to Dr. Asal Rahimi, head of our breast team, talk with KERA's Sam Baker regarding our GammaPod--one of only two in the world currently being used to treat breast cancer. The GammaPod allows us to use a radiation technique that reduces treatment time and can be less toxic.

Dr. Timmerman awarded Patricia and William L. Watson Jr., M.D. Award for Excellence in Clinical Medicine

Dr. Timmerman awarded Patricia and William L. Watson Jr., M.D. Award for Excellence in Clinical Medicine

Dr. Robert Timmerman awarded the Patricia and William L. Watson Jr., M.D. Award for Excellence in Clinical Medicine is UT Southwestern’s highest honor in clinical care.

Dr. Nina Sanford named AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador

Dr. Nina Sanford named AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador

Dr. Nina Sanford, part of our GI team, has been chosen as an AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador. IF/THEN's goal is to further advance women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by empowering current innovators and inspiring future generations!

Dr. Nina Sanford awarded Dedman Family Scholar in Clinical Care

Dr. Nina Sanford awarded Dedman Family Scholar in Clinical Care

Nina Sanford, M.D., part of our GI team, was recently awarded the Dedman Family Scholar in Clinical Care. The Dedman Foundation established this incredibly generous program to help recruit the most promising early career physicians to UTSW.

Why a Promising, Potent Cancer Therapy Isn't Used in the US

Why a Promising, Potent Cancer Therapy Isn't Used in the US

Carbon ion therapy is similarly precise, but because carbon ions are heavier, they deliver more cancer-killing power than protons do. Carbon centers have reported impressive survival rates, particularly for hard-to-treat bone and soft-tissue cancers such as spinal tumors.

E-cigarette use climbing among cancer patients and cancer survivors

E-cigarette use climbing among cancer patients and cancer survivors

E-cigarette use is climbing among cancer patients and cancer survivors, according to a new study by a UT Southwestern Medical Center oncologist.

New Radiation Technology for Breast Cancer Patients

New Radiation Technology for Breast Cancer Patients

UTSW is now home to cutting-edge breast cancer care. The GammaPod can cut down radiation time from weeks of daily treatment to just a few sessions.

Leveraging Compound Promiscuity to Identify Targetable Cysteines within the Kinome

Leveraging Compound Promiscuity to Identify Targetable Cysteines within the Kinome

Covalent kinase inhibitors, which typically target cysteine residues, represent an important class of clinically relevant compounds. Approximately 215 kinases are known to have potentially targetable cysteines distributed across 18 spatially distinct locations proximal to the ATP-binding pocket. However, only 40 kinases have been covalently targeted, with certain cysteine sites being the primary focus. Members of the Westover lab worked with collaborators to develop a strategy that combines the use of a multi-targeted acrylamide-modified inhibitor, SM1-71, with a suite of complementary chemoproteomic and cellular approaches to identify an additional 23 targetable cysteines.

Many Cancer Patients Take Alternative Meds But Don't Tell Their Doctors

Many Cancer Patients Take Alternative Meds But Don't Tell Their Doctors

One out of every three U.S. cancer patients uses alternative or complementary therapies, but many keep that info from their doctors, a new study finds.

UT Southwestern's new GammaPod advances breast cancer care

UT Southwestern's new GammaPod advances breast cancer care

UT Southwestern Medical Center now offers more precise radiation treatments for breast cancer with a new, cutting-edge device that is only the second of its kind in the world.

Inaugural AACR-novocure tumor-treating fields research grant recipients announced at AACR annual meeting 2019

Inaugural AACR-novocure tumor-treating fields research grant recipients announced at AACR annual meeting 2019

The recipients of the AACR-Novocure Tumor Treating Fields research grants were announced on April 2 at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2019 in Atlanta.

Machines treating patients?

Machines treating patients?

Rayfield Byrd knows when it’s time to wake up every morning. The 68-year-old Oakland, Cal., resident hears a voice from the living room offering a cheery good morning. Except Byrd lives alone.

Risk of subsequent primary cancers after carbon ion radiotherapy, photon radiotherapy, or surgery for localised prostate cancer: a propensity score-weighted, retrospective, cohort study

Risk of subsequent primary cancers after carbon ion radiotherapy, photon radiotherapy, or surgery for localised prostate cancer: a propensity score-weighted, retrospective, cohort study

Osama Mohamad, M.D., one of our senior residents, spent his research year in Japan researching carbon radiotherapy, a form of heavy particle radiation that may be more effective in killing cancer cells and may be associated with less long-term side effects.

Multidisciplinary care improves outcomes of patients with brain metastases

Multidisciplinary care improves outcomes of patients with brain metastases

New data reveals the life expectancy of patients with kidney cancer that’s traveled to the brain has now stretched from months to years. UT Southwestern Kidney Cancer Program investigators report survival rates beyond 2.5 years for some patients with specialized multidisciplinary care.

Radiation reimagined

Radiation reimagined

Three-year survival rates hover between 20 and 35 percent, and the rate of keeping the primary tumor from spreading elsewhere isn’t much better. That's until Dr. Robert Timmerman puts them on a new treatment plan.

Surgery, radiation therapy equally effective in treating common type of head and neck cancer

Surgery, radiation therapy equally effective in treating common type of head and neck cancer

Adding more evidence to the comparison between radiation therapy and surgery in treating an increasingly diagnosed head and neck cancer, a new study by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center found no major long-term differences in the effectiveness of the two therapies. Given these results, investigators suggest quality-of-life factors should help inform a treatment decision.

Working smarter with AI

Working smarter with AI

Imagine a future in which the wristband you're wearing can nudge your doctor by indicating you've been in the exam room for half an hour. Or where the clinic is wired for sensors that recognize you when you walk in the door, taking your temperature and blood pressure and recording your height and weight. Far from science fiction, these clinic scenarios are real artificial intelligence (AI) projects currently being developed at UT Southwestern's Medical Artificial Intelligence and Automation (MAIA) Laboratory.

Breast cancer radiation treatment reduced to a single dose

Breast cancer radiation treatment reduced to a single dose

For 81-year-old Marilyn Gibson, it was a no-brainer: Would she be interested in having a single dose of radiation to treat her breast cancer instead of the standard, multiple-dose treatment delivered over several weeks?

Competing for RAS - Understanding KRAS and the Effects of Its Interactions for Potential Lung Adenocarcinoma Treatment

Competing for RAS - Understanding KRAS and the Effects of Its Interactions for Potential Lung Adenocarcinoma Treatment

With support from a fiscal year 2015 (FY15) Lung Cancer Research Program (LCRP) New Investigator Idea Development award, Dr. Kenneth Westover studied the interactions between KRAS and potential therapeutic small molecule inhibitors.

Sex after prostate cancer: Treatment choice matters

Sex after prostate cancer: Treatment choice matters

Sexual function is one of the first things many men think about if they’re diagnosed with prostate cancer.

New radiation therapy technique aims to preserve sexual function

New radiation therapy technique aims to preserve sexual function

Dr. Neil Desai, Assistant Professor and part of our genitourinary team, is the Principal Investigator of the new POTEN-C trial--a culmination of a decade of research on ways to improve radiation therapy for prostate cancer.

Fighting cancer with the world's best radiation oncology treatments

Fighting cancer with the world's best radiation oncology treatments

The Gamma Knife Icon, located at Zale Lipshy University Hospital, is one of several leading-edge radiation oncology technology systems available at UT Southwestern.

Researchers demonstrate RAS dimers are essential for cancer

Researchers demonstrate RAS dimers are essential for cancer

Researchers at UT Southwestern’s Simmons Cancer Center have shown that RAS molecules act in pairs, known as dimers, to cause cancer, findings that could help guide them to a treatment.

Albuquerque appointed as first holder of Sharma Professorship

Albuquerque appointed as first holder of Sharma Professorship

As a preteen in Bombay, India, Dr. Kevin Albuquerque was indelibly impressed by the cancer patients at the hospital where his mother worked – an experience that inspired him to become a doctor.

44 Faces Representing the Future of Biochemistry

44 Faces Representing the Future of Biochemistry

Dr. Kenneth Westover was named one of "44 Faces Representing the Future of Biochemistry" in the January 9 special issue of Biochemistry. Dr. Westover, part of our Radiation Oncology lung team, has a lab that focuses on developing new, targeted cancer therapies.