Department of Radiation Oncology
The Department of Radiation Oncology was created in 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 our three divisions: Clinical, Medical Physics and Cancer Biology; and teaching graduate students, medical students, residents in both radiation oncology and medical physics, 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 and at Siteman Cancer Center facilities throughout the St. Louis regional area. Our faculty have gained international recognition for innovative technological advances in physics and treatment planning, biological research, computer applications and clinical investigation.
We have advanced treatment planning computer systems for 3D conformal and intensity-modulated radiation therapy as well as the latest Gamma Knife, the ICON unit. We have six linear accelerators with on-board CT imaging capability. The brachytherapy suite includes capabilities for high dose rate remote after-loading and for image-guided permanent prostate seed implants. Interstitial and external hyperthermia treatments are also available.
- 2013: Implemented the world’s first compact proton beam accelerator that involves the use of a superconducting synchrocyclotron mounted on a gantry
- 2014: Implemented the world's first MRI-guided radiation therapy treatment program. (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.)
- 2017: Achieved accreditation within all of the Washington University in St. Louis/Barnes-Jewish Hospital Radiation Oncology facilities for the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Accreditation Program for Excellence (APex). The department provides radiation therapy treatment at Siteman Cancer Center locations throughout the St. Louis regional area.
- 2018: Advanced our Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) program with the installation of the ViewRay MRIdian Linac System
- 2019: Spearheaded collaboration with Liga Nacional Contra el Cáncer/Instituto Nacional de Cancerología (LIGA/INCAN) to help modernize radiation therapy by installing state-of-the-art radiation therapy equipment in Guatemala City. We continue working with our collaborators to help bring life-saving therapies to the only cancer center serving the poor of Guatemala.
- 2020: Installed an additional Mevion Proton unit equipped with pencil beam scanning technology
- 2020: Installed an ETHOS (Halcyon) radiotherapy system with adaptive treatment workflow
The department supports a four-year Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited Radiation Oncology Residency Training Program (established 1971) as well as a two-year Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs (CAMPEP)-accredited Medical Physics Residency Training Program (established 1993; accredited 1997).
Radiation Oncology Research Electives
The Cancer Biology division provides opportunities for graduate students in the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences (DBBS) and the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) to train with faculty in the cancer biology research laboratories.
The Department of Radiation Oncology offers a clinical clerkship for medical students that can be selected as an elective through the medical school.
Please visit the Department of Radiation Oncology website for more information about current research in the department.
Post-PhD Graduate Certificate/ Masters of Science in Medical Physics
For course information, please visit the Medical Physics page of this Bulletin.
The Department of Radiation Oncology offers two courses that are open to students in the MD and MSTP (MD/PhD) programs. For course information, please visit the online course listings.
M92 RadOnc 740 Radiation Oncology Clerkship
The two-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 the weeks of this clerkship, with the workday starting between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m. Students will also have the opportunity to attend the appropriate multidisciplinary clinics, follow-up clinics, and multidisciplinary conferences (such as pediatric neuro-oncology, cardiothoracic oncology, lymphoma, GYN tumor conferences, and so on) pertaining to their rotation schedule. Instructional materials are available for students on the rotation. (Students are not expected to purchase any curricular materials for the clerkship.) Student performance will be evaluated by both resident and faculty members who supervise the student over the course of the two-week clerkship.
Credit 77 units.
M92 RadOnc 801 Clinical Radiation Oncology Subinternship
The Radiation Oncology clinical division offers an elective with emphasis on the evaluation, planning, and administration of radiation therapy in patients with malignant tumors. Students will have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of the natural history of cancer as well as its pathological and biological features. Students will sharpen their clinical skills by participating in the management of cancer patients. Students will be mentored to prepare and lead a department noon conference on the management of a specific patient's care, including literature review and discussion. Students will be expected to prepare for clinical consultations by reviewing patient records and relevant literature, obtaining the patient's history, and performing a physical examination. This will be followed by presenting findings and a proposed care plan to the attending and resident physicians. This course is designed for MS4 students who are entering the Radiation Oncology Match. If a student is an MS4 applying in another specialty but interested in a radiation oncology elective, we encourage them to pursue a two-week special study elective in Radiation Oncology.
M92 RadOnc 900 Radiation Oncology Research Elective