The Department of Radiation Oncology was created on July 1, 2001, after having been part of the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology for many decades. The department has a broad academic program that focuses on excellence in patient care and the development of new treatment paradigms; innovative research in each of the three divisions of clinical, physics and biology; and teaching for residents in radiation oncology, medical students and allied health personnel. The department is one of the largest, most academically balanced, and best equipped in the country, and it is responsible for all radiation therapy procedures at Washington University Medical Center. Our faculty have gained international recognition for innovative technological advances in physics and treatment planning, biological research, computer applications and clinical investigation.
- Implementation of novel respiratory gating algorithms
- Development of biomarkers of DNA repair capacity of tumors
- Demonstrated the use of proton therapy
- Implementation of first Mevion S250 single-room proton therapy system
- Implementation of real-time MRI guidance for radiation therapy treatment with the ViewRay system (Real-time MRI guidance provides the ability to see tumors move in real time during a patient's entire treatment process. This helps to ensure that tumor targets are hit and that healthy tissue is spared.)
- Acquisition of high-intensity focused ultrasound with MRI thermometry mapping
The Department of Radiation Oncology currently occupies a large and convenient clinical facility on the lower level of the Center for Advanced Medicine. The downtown clinical facility includes nine treatment rooms, three simulator rooms, and a brachytherapy center with two high dose rate treatment units. Furthermore, the facility houses the latest Gamma Knife, the ICON unit. We have advanced treatment planning computer systems for 3D conformal and intensity-modulated radiation therapy. We have six linear accelerators with on-board CT imaging capability. The brachytherapy suite includes capabilities for high dose rate remote afterloading and for image-guided permanent prostate seed implants. Interstitial and external hyperthermia treatments are also available. In 2013, we implemented a new type of proton treatment facility that involves the use of a superconducting synchrocyclotron mounted on a gantry. In addition, we implemented the world's first MRI-guided radiation therapy treatment program in 2014. The department provides radiation therapy treatment at Siteman Cancer Center-South County, Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, Siteman Cancer Center at Christian Hospital, Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital, Siteman Cancer Center at Swansea and Alton Memorial Hospital.
Physics faculty have research laboratories and offices on the fourth floor of the Clinical Sciences Research Building plus designated areas adjacent to the clinical facility in the Center for Advanced Medicine building. The Radiation Biology laboratory and faculty offices are housed at the 4511 Forest Park Building, the Wohl Hospital Building and the BJC Institute of Health Building.
The Department of Radiation Oncology offers a Postdoctoral Medical Physics Certificate.
Starting in fall 2019, the physics division of the Department of Radiation Oncology is offering a Master's of Science in Medical Physics.
In addition, the Department of Radiation Oncology offers two courses that are open to students in the MD and MSTP (MD/PhD) programs and one course for first-year medical students.
Please visit the Department of Radiation Oncology website for more information about current research in the department.
Post-PhD Graduate Certificate in Medical Physics
For course information, please visit the Biomedical Engineering page of this Bulletin.
For course information, please visit the Radiology page of this Bulletin.
M90 Radiol 740 Clinical Radiation Oncology Clerkship
The four-week clerkship in radiation oncology will provide students with the opportunity to participate in the evaluation and management of a broad range of patients referred for consideration of radiation therapy. Clerkship activities will take place at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Siteman Cancer Center complex and at our satellite facilities. Students will conduct patient evaluations under the supervision of radiation oncology department residents and faculty. Students will attend many conferences throughout this clerkship, with the workday starting between 7:00 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. Students will also have the opportunity to attend the appropriate multidisciplinary clinics, follow-up clinics, and conferences (e.g., pediatric neuro-oncology, cardiothoracic oncology, lymphoma, gynecological tumors) that pertain to their rotation schedule. Instructional materials are available for students on the rotation. (Students are not expected to purchase any curricular materials for this clerkship.) Student performance will be evaluated by both residents and faculty members who supervise the student over the course of the four-week clerkship. (Level: MS3)
M90 Radiol 840 Clinical Radiation Oncology Subinternship
The clinical division offers a four-week elective with emphasis on the evaluation, planning and administration of radiation therapy in patients with malignant tumors. The students have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of the natural history of cancer and its pathological and biological features as well as to sharpen their clinical skills by participating in the management of patients. Applications from visiting students are accepted via VSAS only; these students should visit the School of Medicine website for instructions on how to apply. (Level: MS4)