KU's Department of Radiation Oncology has built a strong reputation for providing superb patient care and for integrating translational research, medical physics, and advanced technologies into treatment.
Most of our clinical faculty focus on the treatment of particular disease sites in order to provide a higher level of expertise for patients. Many are working closely with our laboratory scientists, and divide their time between patient care and serving as conduits to innovative bench research with the hope of developing better cancer treatments in the future.
Technologically, the department is one of the most comprehensive radiotherapy treatment centers in the country, with advanced tools and procedures that include Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT), accelerated partial breast irradiation, Intensity-Modulate Radiation Therapy (IMRT), and high-dose rate brachytherapy. An emphasis of the department is on the development of high-impact, "ground-breaking" clinical trials for patients with both routine and difficult to treat cancers throughout the body.
The Division of Medical Physics works tirelessly to improve the efficacy and efficiency of radiation therapy through high-quality clinical service, the implementation of improved treatment planning and delivery technologies, and research programs.
The primary mission of the medical physics team is to ensure that therapeutic radiation is being administered properly to patients while monitoring exposure to the staff and general public. The team oversees all technological equipment in the department and works closely alongside physicians. Quality assurance and safety are two terms synonymous with medical physicists. Although much of the work performed by medical physicists is done behind the scenes, they are an integral part of the Radiation Oncology team.
In addition to clinical service and research collaborations at KU, the Division of Medical Physics offers a two-year Radiation Oncology residency program for medical physicists.
Radiation and Cancer Biology
The Division of Radiation and Cancer Biology's mission is to educate and train the next cadre of scientists and clinicians in the disciplines of radiation and cancer biology and to execute a multidisciplinary program of research focused on understanding the molecular, cellular, and organismal responses to ionizing radiation exposure for the betterment of humankind. Ground-breaking, correlative research is performed by basic science faculty within our department aimed at further understanding and harnessing what we know about biology into advances in the clinic. The department also hosts one of the only radiation oncology-specific bio-specimen repositories in the country and maintains a prospective collection of biological material for translational research.
Specific areas of research within the division include:
- The molecular mechanisms responsible for repairing DNA damage
- Molecular signaling after radiation exposure
- Radiation resistance and radiation sensitization
- Prognostic and predictive markers of therapeutic outcome
- Intrinsic radiosensitivity
- The role of hypoxia in radiation response
- Combining immune therapy with radiation for cancer therapy
- Developing new cellular and animal models for radiation biology research
- The role of the inflammatory response after radiation