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About Us

The Department of Radiation Oncology at Washington University is endowed through the Siteman Cancer Center. The department consists of 3 divisions, including Medical Physics, Cancer Biology and Clinical Radiation Oncology. Our mission is to shape the future of health care through education, research and development of new technology. Clinicians and investigators work extensively with partners in the industry to advance their field of cancer therapy.

Mission Statement

Shape the future of optimized cancer care through the integration of multidisciplinary research, innovation, education and technology development.

Vision Statement

In our effort to shape the future of optimized cancer care, we will:

  • Develop best practice and state-of-the-art therapy to improve cure rates in cancer patients.
  • Emphasize compassion for cancer patients to improve their quality of life.
  • Develop innovative cancer therapy and technology.
  • Conduct interdisciplinary, collaborative, scientific research to improve discovery and innovation.
  • Train the next generation of national leaders in cancer research and cancer therapy.

Education and Training

The education and training programs in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Washington University consists of residency in radiation oncology; residency in medical physics; and pre-doctoral graduate education in the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences (DBBS), the School of Engineering and from Nuclear Engineering in University of Missouri (graduate students). The residency in Radiation Oncology attracts the best medical student applicants in the nation. Residents gain extensive training in state of the art technology in radiation therapy. Residents conduct research for one year, or 18 months for those in the Holman Research Pathway. Residents in medical physics have received Ph.D.s in a variety of fields with physics. They train in all aspects of medical physics in a two-year program that is sponsored by CAMPEP in the American Association of Medical Physicists. Graduate students are primarily in the School of Engineering at University of Missouri and train in development of new technology in the field of radiation oncology. Biology graduate students from DBBS train in the cancer biology research laboratories.

Clinical Research Programs

The clinical research programs in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Washington University center around partnerships with industry and development of new technology. Clinical research is focused on adaptive radiotherapy, image guided radiotherapy and functional imaging using PET and MRI. Investigators study cancer biomarkers and tissue injury that result from radiotherapy. Clinicians partner with industry to develop new technology including proton therapy system, image guided therapy and state of the art brachytherapy.

Cancer Biology

Newly renovated Cancer Biology laboratories are located at 4511 Forest Park Avenue. The Cancer Biology programs partner closely with Bioinformatics to identify biomarkers. In addition, an extensive developmental therapeutics program has been recently created by Dr. Hallahan. This program develops small compounds that are radiation protectors and radiation sensitizers. This program interacts closely with pharmaceutical companies. The developmental therapeutics program also develops antibodies and peptides that bind to radiation inducible neoantigens. This targeted delivery system is designed to deliver cancer therapeutics through use of nanotechnology and novel formulations. The DNA damage and response group studies the molecular pathways involved in DNA damage repair.

Clinical Excellence

The department strives to continuously excel in the development of state of the art technology for the delivery of cancer treatment to patients. The department participates in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network which is an affiliation of the 21 major cancer centers throughout the nation. Clinicians at Washington University participate in panels that develop guidelines to oncologists for standards of care for cancer patients. The radiation oncology clinics are components of the Siteman Cancer Center on both the main campus and outreach programs in the suburbs of St. Louis. Clinical trials develop new technology in the treatment of cancer and study novel cancer therapeutics and formulations. The department develops state of the art technology which is cutting edge in the field of radiation oncology. The clinical programs consist of several centers of excellence including Brachytherapy, Stereotactic Radiosurgery and the anticipated Proton Therapy Center which is scheduled for completion in 2013.