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Welcome to the website for the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Colorado Denver, affiliated with the University of Colorado Hospital.

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Radiation Oncology

Quality, Performance, and Innovation in Cancer Care


Welcome to the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Our mission is to provide the highest quality care to patients with all types of cancers and certain benign tumors. The department aims to achieve excellence in professionalism and performance of our services. We seek to create a climate that fosters innovation and allows patients access to the newest cutting edge treatments.

The Department of Radiation Oncology is integrated within the award-winning, nationally celebrated University of Colorado Hospital, within the larger University of Colorado Health system. The University of Colorado Cancer Center is a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.

 – Brian D. Kavanagh, MD, MPH, FASTRO​, Professor and Chair ​​​​​

 

In The News...

​9/6/16 - Lanning joins lab and clinic teams at UCH
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Ryan Lanning, MD, PhD​,​ joins the faculty of the Department of Radiation Oncology this month. Dr. Lanning attended the University of California-Irvine on a Regents Scholarship, receiving a BS in Chemistry and Biology. He worked for a year in the Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic as an optical engineer, where he played a key role in the development of frequency domain photon migration spectroscopy. He then began an MD-PhD program at Harvard Medical School and MIT, where he worked in the Edwin L. Steele Laboratories under the tutelage of Dr. Rakesh Jain. His thesis was entitled “Tumor vasculature and microenvironment during progression and treatment: insights from optical microscopy”. He was the recipient of several awards during this period including a Whitaker Foundation Fellowship a DoD Pre-Doctoral Training Fellowship. After an internship in Internal Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, he completed a residency in Radiation Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he continued his translational scientific work alongside his clinical training. By means of a technology dissemination grant, Dr. Lanning’s laboratory will provide the Cancer Center with an entirely new modality of non-invasive, real-time tumor physiology and vessel architecture monitoring with broad applicability for studies across the spectrum of solid tumors. Dr. Lanning’s clinical focus will be in the treatment of Head and Neck Cancers, just in time for the launch of the new HNC multidisciplinary clinic.​


7/1/16 - Ridings named "Top Doc" once again

JaneRidings.jpgDr. Jane Ridings has once again been named a “top doc” by Colorado Springs Style magazine. Dr. Ridings is the Medical Director of Radiation Oncology at Memorial Hospital in the University of Colorado Health System. She has earned this distinction for several years in a row as a result of her outstanding service in cancer care to the Colorado Springs Community. She has led numerous innovative clinical initiatives at Memorial, including an intra-operative radiation therapy (IORT) program for early stage breast cancer. The 2015 list can be seen here​.



6/13/16 - Jones named Boettcher Investigator; Awarded research grant
Dr. Bernard L. Jones has recently been named a Boettcher Investigator in the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards program. These awards support promising, early-career scientific researchers, allowing them to advance their independent research while competing for major federal and private awards. Dr. Jones will receive a $235,000 grant to support research on improving motion management and planning/delivery techniques in pancreatic SBRT




6/10/16 - Mullen lacrosse gives toys to pediatric cancer patients
When Nic Mayhan’s mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor, he ended up spending more time than any teenager should in the Department of Radiation Oncology at University of Colorado Hospital. Luckily his mom’s tumor wasn’t life-threatening. But Nic got to talking with his mom’s radiologist, Arthur K. Liu, MD, PhD. In addition to providing adult radiation treatments, Dr. Liu is the primary radiation oncologist for kids with cancer seen at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Dr. Liu works with roughly 150 young cancer patients every year and after every visit, these kids get to choose a toy from a special trunk Dr. Liu keeps in his office. Continue reading...​



5/19/16 - Karam awarded ASTRO Abstract Award + Q&A from ColoradoCancerCenter.org
Dr. Sana Karam​ has been awarded the Basic/Translational Science - Junior Investigator Radiation and Cancer Biology in the Biology category for her abstract titled, “Enhanced Therapeutic Radiosensitization by Targeting EphB4 Receptor in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma." Dr. Karam will present her research in Boston at this years' ASTRO annual meeting. The ASTRO Annual Meeting is being held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center September 25-28, 2016.

Dr. Karam also recently sat down with Garth Sundem of ColoradoCancerCenter.org​ for a short Q&A about her two years at the University and her life before Radiation Oncology. You can read the full Q&A here: SanaQandA.pdfSanaQandA.pdf

5/13/16 - Hardenbergh named a Trustee of the American Board of Radiology ​
Unknown.jpegDr. Patricia Hardenbergh, Associate Clinical Professor of Radiation Oncology, has been named a Trustee of the American Board of Radiology (ABR). Established in 1934, the ABR oversees the certification and ongoing professional development of specialists in Diagnostic Radiology, Radiation Oncology and Medical Physics. The ABR’s mission is to serve patients, the public, and the medical profession by certifying that its diplomats​ have acquired, demonstrated, and maintained a requisite standard of knowledge, skill, and understanding essential to the practice of these specialties. The comprehensive ABR certification process includes continuing educational requirements, professional peer evaluation, and examination. Dr. Hardenbergh’s track record of contribution to the ABR includes service as an oral boards examiner and the creation and operation of Chartrounds.com, an award-winning web-based peer review service that can double for radiation oncologists as a means of fulfilling the quality-improvement requirements of maintenance of ABR certification.

4/13/16 - ​Former NCAA basketball player calls CU Cancer Center home
Even before Thomas (TJ) Pugh, MD, grew to 6’10″, he loved the sport of basketball.

“It was sort of a religion for me,” says Pugh, an associate professor at the University of Colorado Cancer Center. “Playing basketball taught me great life lessons and the importance of being part of a team.”

In fact, the love of being part of something bigger than himself is what brought Pugh to the field of cancer research and care. In it, a primary care physician helps someone recognize a problem, specialists collaborate to ensure that they receive the best care possible, nurse navigators keep patients on a smooth track and health psychologists make sure they have a safe place to talk about their concerns. Many people working together to create the best possible outcome for a person. A team. Continue Reading...​


3/1/16 - Newman appointed to Emeritus position
After more than 28 years of work at the University of Colorado, primarily in the field of Medical Physics, Francis Newman, MS, DABR, has been awarded the title of Associate Professor Emeritus at the University of Colorado. Francis has been with the department of Radiation Oncology since 1991, originally in the role of Chief Physicist. Recently retired, Francis hopes to continue collaborations​ with colleagues in the Radiation Oncology Department and the UC Denver Applied Mathematics Department, where he has also served as faculty.



2/17/16 - Kavanagh weighs in on the importance of radiotherapy treatment compliance

Dr. Kavanagh was recently interviewed in MedPage Today about a high profile publication demonstrating the importance of helping patients remain compliant with their schedule for radiotherapy treatments. This paper shows increased risk of recurrence and worse survival in patients who unexpectedly miss two or more scheduled treatments. Continue reading...​


2/5/16 - Amini reports survival benefit with combination of external beam radiation therapy and seed implant for intermediate risk prostate cancer​
Dr. Arya AminiFourth-year resident Dr. Arya Amini recently published data on prostate cancer that has received national press attention. Dr. Amini and colleagues in the radiation oncology department, including senior author Dr. David Raben, analyzed the National Cancer Database and found combination external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) and brachytherapy provides a modest s​urvival benefit compared with brachytherapy alone for patients with intermediate-risk prostate cancer. 

Combination radiation therapy with EBRT and brachytherapy for intermediate-risk prostate cancer patients is currently being evaluated in the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) 0232 study. Continue Reading...​