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.
In The News...
4/24/17 - Karam awarded RSNA grant
Dr. Sana Karam and
her lab team have been awarded a grant from the Board of Trustees of the
Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). The project that will be
supported, entitled “
Combined Inhibition of EphB4 and EGFR Signaling
Enhances Radiosensitization in Head and Neck Cancers”, will focus on novel
mechanisms of interaction between radiation and the Eph family of ligands and receptors, an area in which Dr. Karam has become a
leading expert. “I am excited that we will have an opportunity to fill in a few
important gaps in our understanding of the best way to combine radiation and
certain new agents in head and neck cancer,” says Dr. Karam. “We are moving
very close to a point where we will be able to offer this type of combination
to patients in clinical trials, and I think there is reason to expect we can
improve tumor cure rates for certain groups of patients."
4/21/17 - Alexeev wins AAPM Junior Investigator Competition
Dr. Timur Alexeev, a
post-doctoral fellow of the Medical Physics section, has been selected as the
winner of the Junior Investigator Competition of the American Association of
Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) Annual Meeting for his abstract, “Development and
Evaluation of a Two Dimensional Antiscatter Grid for CBCT”. The work was
accomplished under the supervision of Dr. Cem Altunbas, who is principal
investigator of an NIH R21-funded project addressing the challenges of how to
improve cone-beam CT scanning (CBCT), an imaging technique relied upon heavily
for high precision image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT). “Dr. Alexeev’s
work has demonstrated important fundamental principles in this study and
established that our grid technique improves image quality,” notes Dr. Altunbas,
who adds, “and this work lays a foundation for implementing the new techniques
in the clinic in the near future."
2/15/17 - Robin’s Research
Cited in New York Times Article on Disparities
recent publication authored by Dr. Tyler Robin, PGY-3, Department of Radiation
Oncology, has received national attention. The article, “Disparities
in standard of care treatment and associated survival decrement in patients
with locally advanced cervical cancer”, was cited in a New
York Times article addressing disparities in cervical cancer treatment.
Christine Fisher commented, “Dr. Robin's study revealed a very important
and concerning point. Fewer than half of patients with locally advanced cervix
cancer receive appropriate standard therapy for their cancer, which should
include both external beam radiotherapy and brachytherapy. Patients were more
likely to receive substandard therapy if they had lower incomes, only Medicaid
insurance, or treatment outside of a comprehensive cancer center. We hope that
by illuminating the problem we can educate patients and providers outside of
major centers that referral to a comprehensive cancer center like ours is
important if the appropriate expertise and technology for proper treatment is
unavailable locally. Cervix cancer can be challenging to treat but is
potentially curable, and it is important that the oncology community rallies to
the support of the vulnerable populations of patients who need access to
standard care. Our ultimate hope is for elimination of cervical cancer
through vaccination and screening, but, until then, access to best care is
critically important for cervix cancer patients.
of the study included Dr. Arya Amini, PGY-5, Department of Radiation Oncology; Dr.
Tracey Schefter, Department of Radiation Oncology; and Dr. Kian Behbahkt,
Director of Gynecologic Oncology.
1/27/17 - Stokes selected for prestigious reviewer apprenticeship program
Dr. William Stokes has been selected into the Reviewer Apprenticeship Program of the journal Practical Radiation Oncology, one of the three official journals of the American Society for Radiation Oncology. Dr. Stokes was among the 6 residents chosen from among nearly 100 applicants from across the United States to participate in the inaugural year of the program. In his role in this initiative, Dr. Stokes will review at least six papers over the next twelve months and will receive individual mentorship and feedback from the journal editors.
12/1/16 - Burr awarded GME Training Administrator Certification
Jennifer Burr, C-TAGME, now current Office
Manager, has recently completed the National Board for Certification for
Training Administrators for Graduate Medical Education Programs (TAGME). Jenn
has served for 11 years as the Radiation Oncology Residency Program
Coordinator, a GME-certified training program. The residency program began in
2003 and has now produced 18 graduates who have moved on to positions in
community and academic practice
9/6/16 - Lanning joins lab and clinic teams at UCH
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
7/1/16 - Ridings named "Top Doc" once again
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
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
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.pdf
5/13/16 - Hardenbergh named a Trustee of the American Board of Radiology
Dr. 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.